Back injury is one the most common injuries in the workplace. Back injuries can occur in the office setting, construction sites, and in manufacturing facilities. The injury is easy to prevent; a little guidance is all that is needed. It is easier to avoid the injury than trying to recover from the injury.
The first step to have strong back and stomach muscles; it is important in order to ease the work your back is put through each day. By doing simple back-toning exercises, you not only strengthen your back but also reduce stress; you will also improve your appearance. Check with your doctor as to the best exercises for you.
Excess weight exerts extra force on the back and stomach muscles. Your back tries to support the extra weight and causes excess strain on the lower back muscles. By losing weight, you can reduce strain and pain in your back. Check with your doctor for the most sensible diet plan for you.
By learning to stand tall with your head up and shoulders back, you can prevent many back pains. This relearning process can be carried over to learning to sit and lift items correctly. When you sit down, don’t slouch. Slouching makes the back ligaments, not the muscles, stretch and hurt, thus putting pressure on the vertebrae. The best way to sit is straight, with your back against the back of the chair with your feet flat on the floor and your knees slightly higher than your hips.
The way you sleep can also affect your back. Pick a firm mattress or place plywood between your box springs and mattress for good back support. If your mattress is too soft it could result in a back sprain. Sleep on your side with your knees bent or on your back with a pillow under your knees for support.
Driving can also affect your back. Drive with your back straight against the seat and close enough to the wheel so your knees are bent and are slightly higher than your hips.
Lifting items is usually where the injury occurs. The factors above can be contributing to the obvious injury. Lifting objects is often a mindless task, and unfortunately many people perform their lift incorrectly, resulting in unnecessary strain on their back and surrounding muscles. In order to lift correctly and reduce strain on your back, it’s important to plan your lift in advance. This means to think about the weight of the object you will be moving and the distance you will be moving it. Take a few seconds and consider the item. Consideration for the item should include: bulkiness, weight, help required, distance to move, and area is clear for the movement.
If all considerations have been made, it is important to align yourself correctly in front of the load with your feet straddling the load, one foot slightly in front of the other for balance. Slowly squat down by bending your knees, not your back and stomach. Using both hands, firmly grab the load and bring it as close to your body as you can. This will help distribute the weight of the load over your feet and make the move easier.
Once the load is close to your body, slowly straighten out your legs until you are standing upright. Make sure the load isn’t blocking your vision as you begin to walk. If you need to turn to the side, turn by moving your feet around and not by twisting at your stomach.
If the load is too heavy, bulky, or awkward for you to lift alone, find someone to help you carry it. If no one is available, try to break down the load into easier parts. Use of a dolly or hand truck may also help move the item.
Remember injuries from improperly lifting items can take years to heal. Learning to carry items and even yourself correctly, will lead to a healthy back.