Each day, in some form or fashion, you do lifting in your work and home activities. Your back is in motion all day, every day, even when you sleep. It bends when you sit, twists when you turn, lifts when you stand, and supports you when you walk. An injured back can be uncomfortable or disabling. Lifting safely is one of the most important things you can do to protect your back throughout your lifetime. By learning a few back injury prevention techniques, you may be able to make your workday safer.
Back Strain and Back Injury Causes Serious Pain and Disability
The back supports the body. One wrong move or repeated stress on weak back muscles can cause pain and injury.
Back injuries are one of the most common causes of work related disability.
After the common cold, back pain is the leading causes of lost work days.
Once back strain occurs, it often returns.
- Back injury often requires extended bed rest and, in some cases, surgery.
Personal Habits Can Make Back Injury More Likely
- You’re more likely to have a back injury if you’re in poor physical condition, overweight, under stress, have poor posture, or overexert yourself.
Regular exercise can strengthen back and stomach muscles.
Always consult your doctor before starting an exercise program.
Sit and stand straight; poor posture strains the back.
- Be realistic about what you can carry and what you can do; overdoing can cause lasting damage.
Follow these Precautions to Minimize the Risk While Lifting
When you are driving, make sure your back is well-supported and that you use good posture. To prevent back strain, keep the steering wheel close enough that your knees are slightly flexed and higher than your hips.
When you have to lift an object, always plan ahead. Decide how you are going to pick up the load, carry it and set it down, then check the route for obstructions. Always get assistance if the load is too heavy or too awkward.
As you lift, position your feet close to the load and squat – don’t bend down. Rise to standing position, using the strong muscles in your legs rather then the weaker ones in your back.
Don’t twist your body when carrying the load. Lower yourself to squatting position as you set it down.
Take several short rest breaks at work by standing up and doing a few minutes of stretching exercises. If your job requires you to stand all day, try placing one foot on a slightly higher surface to relax tight back muscles.
- When you sleep at night, curl up on your side and place a pillow between your knees for added support. If you do sleep on your back, place pillows under your bent knees to relieve the strain on your back muscles.
Safety by Choice, Not by Chance!
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