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. Here are a few valuable back injury tips from a Woodstock chiropractor.
Pay Attention to Your Lifting Technique
How you lift boxes, laundry baskets, children’s toys, children themselves or just about anything else, has a bearing on the health of your back. When you lift correctly, your spine is in the proper alignment and there is no added stress placed on your back. This means you should bend your knees and keep your back as straight as possible when you pick anything up off the floor. Avoid twisting as you rise with the weight. Keep the weight you are lifting as close to your body as possible. Extending the weight out creates a longer lever arm and increases the stress on your low back significantly.
If you have a lot of lifting to do, your core strength is integral to protecting your back. Read here for core strength exercises you can do at home. Back braces that support your back during heavy periods of lifting are good too. Although wearing a brace all the time can cause for loss in muscle strength so use this more as an aid during heavy periods of lifting as apposed to all the time. Also try to place items on a table or chair, so there isn’t as much bending required picking it up. Your back is not designed to work like a crane, so anytime you use it that way you are putting stress on your back that doesn’t need to be there. Take a balanced stance, lift with your legs and move your feet if you need to change direction while holding the object.
Sensible Body Management
Performing activities with your back health in mind is a great strategy to help you avoid back injuries. That means stretching before any type of physical activity, taking it slow if you have a lot of repetitive lifting to do and taking breaks to rest and stretch during the activity.
Getting yourself into good physical condition also protects your back and helps to avoid injuries. This includes losing weight in your midsection, and strengthening core muscles, to make lifting and general movement less stressful on your back. Most chiropractors will also tell you that sleeping on a firm mattress is another way you can nurture your back and prevent injuries.
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. Generally speaking the longer a back injury has lingered the more work it takes to correct it. Early chiropractic intervention can save you a whole lot of pain, time, and money. Spinal misalignment, bulging discs, herniated discs and other injuries often only get worse if you let them linger. Prompt treatment will restore blood flow to the area, relieve any compressed nerves and get you back to normal in the shortest time possible.