Three Common Daily Activities That Can Cause Back Injury

Daily activity could be the most important thing for the overall well-being of any person, even for a caveman. Our ancestors gathered food every day and today we commute to work almost every day. Many people perform regular exercise to fine tune their body, for example, weight training can reduce the risk of osteoporosis by maintaining or improving bone density.

In fact, to stay fit and healthy, you should subject your body to some physical stress regularly so your body will gradually respond by making positive changes to better meet the increased physical demands. By keeping on moving, you can reduce pains and aches. As physical activity improves blood flow, you can keep your muscles well-nourished. But regular exercise has benefits beyond fitness, endorphins, a natural substance, is released and it makes you feel good. As the result, you can reduce depression and anxiety with physical exercise.

Manual labor, desk job, housework, whatever you do, it is our back that often do the hard work. You twist, bend, lift, stand and sit all day, these challenges can eventually affect your back. Things like pen, bottle cap, and clothes fall to floor frequently, as the result, we need to bend and swoop. And all of a sudden, one day, you get a stab in the back, which is accompanied by a sharp pain and you freeze in your tracks. Twisting and bending abruptly are more than what an average human back can bear.

Many cases of back pain are caused by wrong postures, for example, you may stress your lower back unnecessarily by bending your waist without bending your knees. In fact, some people may add twist to the bend, which can make matters worse. Twisting your back is easy to do, but it is still hard on your back. Lifting a heavy box from the floor in a cramped room, for example, may require complex twisting and bending. Your back won’t like this maneuver and it notifies you by sending a pain signal. Your best chance of avoiding injury, while doing a daily task is by keeping all your body parts to face at the same direction at all time, whenever possible. If you need to twist, focus the pivotal movement on your torso just like an action figure, by turning your entire body. It may ensure your muscles and skeleton to be balanced and support each other.

When bending your body, you need to stoop down, as the result, your knees will bend too. You shouldn’t bend over at the waist. It will prevent you from torturing your back or at least, you won’t torture others by presenting an unflattering view from behind. Keep your shoulders squared and your back straight, and although it may be a little tempting you shouldn’t twist while bending. Make one movement at a time, for example, bend, straighten and then turn. Bending and then turning, instead of twisting may seem awkward at first. But changing your habits can correct wrong postures and prevent unnecessary injuries.

Reaching

It happens all too often, something is on the top shelf and it is just a little beyond your fingertip reach. So you stand on your toes, stretch a little bit more and pop! You feel excruciating pain on your back because one or more muscles on your back just can’t take it anymore. A sprained muscle on your back can hurt badly and limit your activities for days or even weeks. Don’t take unnecessary risks, you should save yourself from the anguish by using a sturdy chair or stepstool. Avoid standing on something with wheels or with anything that feel or look unstable. To avoid injury, the object you want to take should be at least at the shoulder-level or better yet on the chest-level, so even if it is a heavy object, you can still handle it with adequate control. If the item is too large or heavy, try to get help. Some people can be somewhat “vertically-challenged”, so it may be a good idea to invest on multi-step stepstools.

Sitting

Chances are, you’re sitting while reading this article. Stop reading for a moment and notice how you sit. Where are your feet? Are they tucked under you or do they flat on the floor? If you draw an imaginary straight line from the ceiling to the floor, does your back intersect properly with it? Do your hips lean to the left and your head to the right? Is your head tipped down while reading on the notebook or do you look straight ahead while reading on a desktop computer? After answering these questions, you’ll become more aware of your sitting habit.

Some people think that good posture is all about walking and standing, but good sitting posture is equally as important. When walking, we have a tendency to shift slightly all the time, which gives your back a little break. But, unfortunately, many of us tend to sit stiffly for hours until our back goes numb. Often, you’re so occupied with work until muscles on your back howl for relief. This isn’t a good thing! Solving this problem is very easy, however. Your chair should be able to distribute your weight evenly and support your lower back firmly. If possible, sit on solid surface, but if you need cushion, make sure that you won’t sink into it, because it’s so cushy. Everyone is unique, so unlike others, you may need a different type of chair. Even if you have the best chair in the world, don’t rely on it too much, as you can still get back pain if you fail to change poor sitting habits. You can’t overcome the reality that our body isn’t designed to sit for hours. After 20 minutes, you should get up and walk for one minute, if it isn’t possible, for example if your work in a call center, at least shift your sitting posture a bit.

Lifting

In order to lift with ease, you should bend your knees properly. It is a common advice for anyone who has attended an injury prevention training. It should be your slogan, if your daily task at work involves many lifting. Sprained backs can happen when you straighten up with a heavy load, but as long as you bend your knees (somewhat bend, not the deep knee bend posture), you can significantly limit the chance of injury. You should also try to bring the item as close to your chest as possible. Carrying a 10 pound box on your hands, with both arms stretched out, can put 150 pounds of pressure on your body. Keep your toes and shoulders facing on a single direction, so you don’t need to twist your feet when turning your body. If the item seems too heavy, even if you have used the right posture, ask others for help. You can also use a cart or dolly. Pulling and pushing a heavy object can still hurt your back.

1 comment

  1. joe Reply
    November 25, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    helpful

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