When it comes to avoiding back injuries, your fate is largely in your own hands. It’s true that an unexpected fall or auto accident may cause an injury that’s beyond your control, but a large percentage of back injuries are caused by your own actions, which means you can take measures to prevent them or stop them from getting worse. While its important to maintain spinal alignment with regular adjustments, what you do outside of the office is equally important! Here are a few tips for avoiding back injuries on your own.
Whether you are lifting weighs or boxes, books, babies, or just about anything else, they all have an impact on the health of your spine. When you lift correctly your spine is in proper alignment and there is no added stress placed on your back. The proper way to lift means you should bend your knees and keep your back as straight as possible when you pick anything up off the floor. This going for bending down to put on socks or shoes as well.
If you have a lot of lifting to do try to place items on a table or chair so there isn’t as much bending needed. Your back is not designed to work like a crane so anytime you use it that way you are putting tons of stress on your back that doesn’t need to be there. Try using a balanced stance, with your legs a little wider apart, lift with your legs and move your feet if you need to change direction while holding the object.
Performing activities with your spinal alignment in mind is a great way to help you avoid back injuries in the first place. That means stretching before any type of physical activity, taking it slow if you have a lot of repetitive lifting to do, and even taking breaks to rest and stretch during the activity or prolonged periods of time in one position such as a desk job. Posture breaks are a great way to stay mindful of your posture throughout the day. Try setting an alarm on your watch or phone to go off once an hour during your workday to remind you to unwind your shoulders, get up and do a few stretches for 1 minute an hour. At the end of an 8 hour workday, you’ve taken 8 minutes out of your busy day to prevent a back injury.
Sleeping on a supportive firm mattress is another way to keep your spine in line between adjustments. Side sleeping with a supportive pillow is what our doctors recommend here at YFC. Getting yourself in good physical shape also protects your back and helps to avoid injuries. This includes strengthening core muscles as well as back muscles which will make lifting and general movement less stressful on your back.
DON’T LET INJURIES LINGER
If you end up with a back injury despite your efforts to avoid it, you should seek treatment with a chiropractor as soon as you can. Spinal misalignment, bulging discs, herniated discs, and other injuries often only get worse if you let them linger without treatment. Prompt treatment will restore blood flow to the area, relieve any compressed nerves and get you back to normal in the shortest time possible. At Yost Family Chiropractic our team is here to help answer your questions. Please feel free to contact us today at 515-278-9678.