Your back is a contributor to your strength, power and range of motion. Almost everything you do requires the use of this body part, which makes us all vulnerable to back injury. The best way to prevent a back injury is to develop habits that reduce the strain placed on the back.
Here are some things that put you at risk for back injury.
Our lifestyles promote inactivity and poor posture. Just look at people working at a computer. We tend to slouch and stay in this position for long periods. This can create strain on the neck, mid back and low back.
Solution: Get up and move! Every 60 minutes, unless you are driving, stop what you are doing. When sitting, ensure your tailbone touches the back of the chair. You can also use a roll to support your lower back when you have to sit for any length of time.
Strong, healthy people can sustain a back injury if they lift a heavy object incorrectly. Familiarize yourself with the proper lifting technique.
Solution: Before you lift, engage your core. Keep the curve in the lower back. Bend your knees. Don’t bend at your waist. Keep the object as close to you as possible. Twisting and turning when lifting is a no-no. Change direction with your feet, not your waist.
Jamming your weekend full of never ending activities like going for a long bike ride, back to back tennis matches, a round of golf and an afternoon of gardening, could set you up for back injury. When you sporadically put heavy demands on your body, it becomes incapable of handling the demands.
Solution: Be realistic and know your body’s limitations. If possible break up activities into smaller increments and spread them out over two or three days. When you finish your activity, do not slouch into a soft chair. Sit with good posture, using a roll in the small of the back or lie down.
At York Rehab clinic we regularly see patients with back and neck pain. It’s unfortunate because many of those injuries can be preventable. Prevention requires a change in our bad habits. Take care of your body. If you’re experiencing pain you may need an appointment with a physiotherapist. If you visit our Newmarket physio clinic, we can assess your injury and develop a treatment plan to help you eliminate your pain.
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