Introduction: Back Safety

Although there are many components to health, there are a few back safety tips to prevent pain and injury. 

Obtain:

1. Regular exercise
2. Proper material handling techniques
3. Basic understanding of ergonomics
4. Chiropractic care

Step 1: Regular Exercise

Benefits:

1. Easier to maintain a healthier body weight
Added pounds can put additional strain on your back.

2. Easier to maintain flexibility
Flexibility allows your body to move in full ranges of motion. 

3. Improves overall health
When you're physically balanced, your mental and social components of health often improve as well. Balanced health is the key for a healthy body. 

Step 2: Material Handling

Whether it's boxes or babies:

1.Lifting
*DON'T bend over at the waist. Squat down and keep your back straight
*DO use your leg muscles to lift, NOT your back
*DON'T twist at the waist, move your feet instead
*Keep the item you're lifting close to your body

2. Assistance
*Ask for help if you do not feel comfortable or confident
*Use mechanical assistance when possible (dolly, stroller, forklift, etc.)

3. Pushing/Pulling principles
*Try and maintain a neutral spine, STAND TALL and keep a strong core
*Keep the load as close to you as possible
*DON'T twist at the waist, move your feet instead
*It is usually easier to push versus pull

4. Carrying
*Try and maintain a neutral spine, STAND Tall and keep a strong core
*Keep the load as close to you as possible
*DON'T obstruct your view, it may result in a trip and fall accident
*If you have to carry the load on one side of the body, practice switching equally to the left and right to prevent excessive strain on your spine
*Whenever possible use a cart, stroller, etc.


Step 3: Ergonomics

Acknowledge potential risks:

1. Awkward Postures
Results in reduced strength, less accuracy, and increased fatigue. When possible, keep your wrist(s), shoulder(s), neck, and low back in their neutral positions.

2. Static Postures (Maintaining fixed positions for a long time)
Results in a decreased blood flow to the muscles.  Take frequent breaks.

3. Force/Load
Results in strains/sprains. Follow material handling advice (step 2)

4. Repetition
Results in muscle overuse. Rotate to a new task and/or take breaks.

5. Contact Stress
Results in soft tissue injuries.  Pad hard resting surfaces. Use knee/elbow pads when needed.

6. Environmental hazards (vibration, heat stress, cold stress, lighting)
Results in added stress to your body. Take breaks, wear proper attire, and make sure equipment is working properly.


Step 4: Chiropractic Care

Chiropractors assist in protecting your nervous system!

Learn:

1. Proper posture to maintain a neutral spine
2. Exercises to fix muscular imbalances
3. Benefits of spinal/extremity manipulations
4. Injury prevention
5. Healthy habits

Comments

author
fitness4life (author)2011-12-12

Along the lines of exercise and back safety, with weight lifting make sure to keep the back straight at all times (which was touched upon already). Usually this is done most easily by tensing your back and abs before lifting something (especially important in squats). And also make sure to work out the muscles in the front of your torso as much as the ones in the back. Otherwise, you get an imbalance which pulls your pelvis one way or another and causes back problems. Just thought I would add that little bit.

author
nicoleb00 (author)fitness4life2011-12-12

thanks for the comment. I didn't go into great detail on specific exercises. i do believe balancing anterior and posterior muscles are important, however many individuals have tight hip flexors and weak gluts and hamstrings....actually most posterior muscles are weak including lats, rhomboids,etc. I believe stretching the tight muscles and strengthening the weak muscles will improve spinal health.

About This Instructable

2,749views

3favorites

License:

More by nicoleb00:Back Safety
Add instructable to: