July 18, 2012

Keep Your Mind Sharp and Your Back Straight

Back injuries are the least visible, hardest to treat and often the most painful. It’s impossible to prevent freak accidents that lead to back injuries, but there are a number of everyday activities you could be performing unsafely that may cause problems in the future. By observing the following safe practices, you can prevent back pain and injuries.

  • Don’t lift or bend excessively. Lifting and bending actions put strain on your back. Try to reduce the amount of heavy lifting and bending you perform throughout the day.
  • Lift heavy objects correctly. If you do have to lift something, there are ways to do it that don’t damage your back. Stand with your legs shoulder-width apart and bend down with your back perpendicular to the ground. Get close to the object, keep your heels level on the ground, get a good grip, and lift slowly using your leg muscles. The same steps should be performed when setting objects back down.
  • Don’t overdo it. Having to move a large amount of heavy objects doesn’t mean you should hurry and move them all at once. It’s better for your back to take more trips with lighter loads than to strain yourself once or twice.
  • Practice good posture. Sitting with your back straight against a chair and standing without slouching can go a long way in preventing back injuries. Bad posture can put stress on an otherwise healthy back, causing pain you may not attribute to your actions.
  • Exercise with smarts. Staying fit and active will increase your strength and flexibility, which is ultimately very beneficial to your back. Exercising properly is very important, however. If your back hurts when you work out, slow down.