Health Tip: Help Prevent Back Injury
-- The premise is simple: Maintaining good posture lessens your risk of developing back problems.
Even if your back feels OK at the moment, you may be straining it if you have poor posture, perform awkward movements, are out of shape, or are overweight. Good body mechanics include reducing strain on your back when you lift heavy loads. The Nicholas Institute of Sports Medicine and Athletic Trauma offers these suggestions:
- Stand close to the object to be lifted.
- Spread your feet wide apart to straddle the object.
- Squat, bending your knees and hips, keeping your back in proper alignment.
- Contract your stomach muscles.
- Lift by using your leg muscles, not your back.
- When lifting with another person, one person should say when to lift, walk and unload.
- Do not twist as you lift. Instead, pivot with your hips and shoulders in line and shift your weight.
Posted: April 2011