Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Back Pain

If you have ever experienced low back pain, you know it is not a laughing matter. You probably also know that it doesn't always go away quickly. Hundreds of thousands of people lose days of work because of back pain and millions of dollars are spent in claims for medical care.  One thing we can all do is stay mindful of proper lifting techniques to avoid back issues.  

#1.  When lifting, use a wide base of support.  The feet are wide apart.
#2.  Movement occurs at the hip and knee joint.  Avoid the common mistake or rounding the back and dropping the head.  The spine stays in neutral.
#3.  Brace the abdominals.  I have written about that previously.
#4.  Think about the weight you are trying to lift.  David's chiropractor told him years ago that he can probably still lift a 40 pound box, but he should get help. 
#5.  Plan ahead.  If you are buying a 40 pound bag of salt, put it in the car to safely transfer it when at home.  Pulling it out of a low trunk is going to be hard.
#6.  Pushing is usually easier than pulling.  With pushing you can get your body weight behind the object.  So when I move my breakfast table, I need to push or slide it.
#7  Rosemary Lindle, PHD., tells us when lifting an object to keep it  the "power or strike zone" which is close to the body between mid thigh and mid chest.
#8.  OSHA list twisting while lifting as a factor associated with back pain.  Avoid it.

Keep these tips in mind the next time you are lifting for, hopefully, a pain free back.

Resource: How To Train Clients For The Workplace by Rosemary Lindle, PHD. IDEA Fitness Journal, February 2015, Low Back Disorders by Stuart McGill