Expert Health Articles

Back Injury Prevention

Is your back pain becoming unbearable? You’re not alone! According to the National Institute of Health Statistics, lower back pain is the most common type of pain, affecting 8 out of every 10 adults during their lifetime. These numbers show the importance of learning to prevent back injuries so that you can stay healthy.

 

There are six key steps to avoiding back injuries at work or play.

 

Proper posture: When on your feet, stand straight and tall with your shoulders back. Keep your feet shoulder-width apart and keep your head in line with your body (think of balancing a book on your head).

 

  •  If sitting, make sure both of your feet can rest flat on the floor and don’t cross your legs. Your knees should be behind your ankles. Make sure your upper back and neck stay comfortably straight and that your shoulders are relaxed.

 

  • Pushing/Pulling: Pushing is easier on your back than pulling. Standing up straight and pushing whenever possible will be helpful in preventing back injury.

 

  • Footwear: Wearing well-supported shoes (like tennis shoes) and buying new shoes often are practical and proactive measures that can be taken. Shoes with heels increase stress on your legs and back. (Ladies, you have permission to shop but pass up those stilettos!)

 

Frequent position changes: Sitting in one position for a long time places increased stress on your back. Getting up and moving, changing positions often and taking breaks from repetitive activities are steps you can take to prevent back pain.

 

  • Good body mechanics for lifting: Bend your knees, keep your back straight and keep the load close to your body. If you must turn, pivot with your feet and do not twist your back.

 

  • Regular exercise: Exercising 3-5 times per week is a great way to maintain physical fitness, good strength and flexibility.    
     

Dr. Thomas Kindl

Pain Management

Blanchard Valley Pain Management