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Prevent Back Injury



Your backbone is made up of 24 individual bones called vertebrae that are stacked on top of one another. Your vertebrae are separated by soft discs of cartilage that perform as shock absorbers for your vertebrae, and also help your back to bend, twist and move around. Most of the support to your spine is maintained by your stomach muscles, as well as the many muscles and ligaments that run up and down the length of your back.

LEARN HOW TO PREVENT BACK INJURY

Preventing a back injury is much easier than repairing one. Because your back is critically important to your ability to walk, sit, stand, and run, it's important to take care of it. Most back pain arises from using your back improperly, so learning a few basic rules about lifting, posture and proper exercise can help keep your back in good shape.

EXERCISE TO STRENGTHEN YOUR BACK AND REDUCE STRESS

Having strong back and stomach muscles 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 and improve your appearance, too! Check with your doctor as to the best exercises for you.

LOSE EXCESS WEIGHT IF NECESSARY

Pot bellies and excess weight exert extra force on back and stomach muscles. Your back tries to support the weight out in front by swaying backwards, causing 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

MAINTAIN GOOD POSTURE

You can prevent many back pains by learning to sit, stand 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. Learn to stand tall with your head up and shoulders back.



MAINTAIN GOOD POSTURE WHILE YOU SLEEP AND DRIVE

Sleep on 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 or sway back. Sleep on your side with your knees bent or on your back with a pillow under your knees for support. 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.

WHEN LIFTING OBJECTS DO IT PROPERLY

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. Is it bulky? Will you need help? Do you see any hazards that can be eliminated? Think about this whenever you do any lifting.