Lower Back Pain Tips for Injury Prevention
This is a guest post by Allied Movers. Few things can limit your quality of life as much as a lower back pain sprain/strain. Once injured, it often takes time to eliminate pain and return the body to its former healthy state. Back injuries can interfere with multiple daily activities, from walking with ease or even picking up a set of keys from a low table. Preventing back injuries should be your goal every time you do any sort of physical labor or engage in any other strenuous activity. A few common sense tips can help you protect your back.
1. Use correct lifting techniques
When you need to lift a heavy object, reduce the amount of pressure placed on your back. Always bend with your knees to keep your spine properly aligned. Allow your legs to do the bulk of the work instead of your back. Always face the object you are lifting and avoid any sudden twisting movements as you lift. Lift gradually. Slow and smooth motions reduce the strain on your back muscles. Take your time to get a good hold on whatever you want to lift and use your legs and abdominal muscles to help you. Avoid the urge to prove how strong you are or show off, as either action can result in needless injury. Though it is impossible to avoid lifting items altogether, being cautious can preserve your back health.
2. Lighten the load
Test the weight of an object before you attempt to move or lift it. Push it lightly with your foot or hands to judge how much effort will be required to move it. The harder it is to budge, the more strain the object will put on your back when picking it up. Reduce the weight if possible. If you are moving something especially heavy, like a load of books, redistribute the books in several smaller boxes. If you cannot reduce the weight of the item you are lifting, ask for help in moving it. In the case of cumbersome objects like couches, bookshelves or appliances, hiring professional movers is the surest way to protect your back.
3. Manage your body
Before you start any lifting, stretch out your back and leg muscles. If you need to move more than one object or transport it a great distance, it is a good idea to take short breaks as needed. This gives your body a chance to rest and recover from strenuous activity before it takes too great of a toll. Be sure to plan extra time so you are not rushed when it comes time to move bags of mulch, clean out the garage or take holiday decorations to your attic.
4. Plan ahead
Be aware of your surroundings before you attempt to lift or move anything. Make sure you have a clear path and are not walking across a slippery surface. Take precautions to make sure the object is within reach when you bend to pick it up and transport it. If the object is hard to reach or you feel unsure of your grip before lifting, you significantly increase the risk of sustaining a back injury.
Although you’re likely to be safe when lifting heavy objects, back injuries can still occur. In this situation, seeking treatment from a licensed and experienced chiropractor is a smart option for healing your back. Be mindful and do your part to prevent a back injury in the first place. The adage “slow and steady wins the race” will go a long way toward keeping you healthy and pain-free.