How to Prevent Back Injuries

The back’s muscular structure enables it to lift heavy loads. Lifting heavy objects is the most common cause of lower back pain and injury but  lifting light objects can cause injury to. In most cases back pain is the result of strain or pulling on muscles, tendons and ligaments. Precautions must always be taken to make sure strain and injury do not occur. We all look both ways before we cross the street, we take precautions to dress warmer in the winter months, so it is not unrealistic to train ourselves to work safely.

Plan before you move a heavy weight or any weight or object. Clear the area you have to walk through to move something from here  to there. You don’t want to trip on debris or twist your back stepping over or around an object. Push instead of pull or pull instead of carrying. Use a wheeled cart if one is available. If you have to lift something stretch the muscles a bit before you do the lifting. Cold muscles have a tendency to knot or become strained by lifting heavy objects.

Use your legs when lifting, do not bend over to pick something up. Bend the knees, keep the back straight and hold the weight as close to the centre of your body as possible. Avoid twisting your back or leaning sideways carrying the load or setting it down. Turn your entire body in the direction you have to move or place the object. Try to keep you back straight and not lean over.

If you have to lean over then the weight is too much for you. When you decide that the weight to be lifted is too heavy, get someone to aid you or break the load into smaller lighter parts to lift separately.

Drink lots of fluids in warm weather to keep the muscles lubricated/hydrated.  And exercise regularly to strengthen the back.

Collage of several of Gray's muscle pictures, ...
Collage of several of Gray’s muscle pictures, by Mikael Häggström (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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