Back pain and back injuries are some of the most common reasons we see people in our chiropractic office. In fact, four out of five people experience severe back pain at some point, making it the second most common reason for visiting their doctor. Knowing how to prevent back injuries and avoid back pain is a great way to stay healthy. It really starts with a few simple changes and becoming more aware of how you handle things, what you do and how you keep your back and core muscles stronger.
3 Tips to Help You Prevent Back Injuries
1. Prep for Lifting
Before you lift with a proper technique which you will see below, it is important to warm up first. Stretch your legs, arms and back to engage those muscles and prepare them for the work. Know your limits!
2. Stretches Strengthen
Daily stretches and exercises can help to strengthen your back muscles. Exercising your core muscles is particularly helpful, as are doing Kegels. Strong muscles are less prone to injury.
3. Lift Less, and Lift Correctly
Lifting heavy objects is one of the most common reasons for back injuries. You’ll want to turn lifting a heavy item into a few steps. They are:
- Assess the object and the situation. It may be small, but it may still be heavy. Test the weight by pushing it with your hands or feet carefully.
- Check how the object is packaged.
- Make sure the load’s weight is balanced so it doesn’t move around.
- Look around before you lift. Is the area clear? Is the path clear? Check the surface, too. You do not want to carry heavy loads on slippery or uneven ground.
- Look for handles or straps when possible.
- Keep a tight grip, consider using work gloves.
- Stay close to what you’re lifting. Don’t reach out. This will prevent strained muscles.
- Use your arms, legs and core. Do NOT use your back or bend at your back. Biggest mistake here! Bend your knees and don’t arch your back. Using the wrong muscles can mean pulling those muscles.
- Use slow, steady and smooth movements.
- Most importantly, avoid lifting something that is simply beyond your strength.
Avoid Back Injuries With These Additional Tips
Your daily lifestyle matters. Making changes to your health can help prevent back injuries and reduce lower back pain, too!
- Watch your weight.
- Don’t smoke.
- Sleep well.
- Pay attention to your posture – it matters!
- Sit properly but take breaks to get up and move throughout the day.
- Cut back on laptop use and bending your head forward.
- Try not to spend too much time on your phone, bending your head and curving your spine.
- Take lots of breaks to get your blood pumping and loosen up tight muscles and stiff joints.
- Avoid high heels.
- Lighten your bag, briefcase or purse.
If you find yourself struggling with day-to-day activities because of your lower back pain, give our office a call. Our programs offer both immediate and long term lower back pain relieving results. We practice modern medical techniques and pain management procedures. We will make you feel better in no time!