Prevent Back Injuries In 7 Easy Steps

We’ve been told all our lives about the importance of posture – from parents, from teachers, and from doctors. Most of us find it easier to simply ignore their advice, but as it turns out good posture is incredibly important for protecting against injury, especially back pain. Furthermore, there are a myriad of simple posture changes that you can do right now to keep yourself healthy! The point of good posture is to remember that your spine has natural curves meant to support your weight, and working with them is imperative for good back health.

1. Stand Up Straight!

The curves of the spine are designed to support one against the pull of gravity, and when one is standing up straight these curves work in conjunction with your muscles to keep your back healthy for years to come. When you slouch it adds more work to these muscles, straining them and leading to potential injury in your twilight years.

2. Stomach In, Shoulders Back, Head Forward

As with standing up straight, it is important to maintain the natural curves of the spine. By tucking in the gut, keeping the shoulders back, and head forward, the muscles attached to the spine can be used to maintain that natural curvature. In short: there is a valid positive health benefit to standing like a soldier.

3. Back Straight When Sitting

When you are sitting down, maintaining good back posture remains just as critical as when standing. At all times you want to maintain the three natural curves of the body. When in a chair ensure that your buttocks are up against the back of the chair. Using a back support or lumbar roll is a good way to maintain the necessary supports.

4. Knees Bent at Right Angle When Seated, Feet Flat to the Floor

In order to maintain a good posture, it is important your entire body provides the adequate support: to include your feet and legs. Keeping your knees bent at a right angle (90 degrees) and your feet flat to the floor encourages proper posture when sitting on the ground. Kicking your legs out and resting your heels on the ground encourages slouching and makes it difficult to maintain good back posture.

5. Stand with your Legs

Lifting with your legs doesn’t apply only to heavy lifting – when standing up from a sitting position the best posture for even this simple act is to move forward to the edge of the seat, and then straighten out your legs without bending forward at the waist. This maintains that critical support your back needs and keeps back pain from coming about for years to come.

6. Back Mostly Straight When Lifting

While a slight bend may be necessary when lifting, avoid lifting with your back at all costs – your leg muscles are far more powerful and allow you to lift heavier objects without throwing your back out. Remember: your back wasn’t designed for lifting, it doesn’t have the leverage for it – use your legs.

7. Avoid Twisting your Back When Lifting

If you’re carrying a heavy load, don’t twist your back – allow your waist, hips, and legs to maintain your posture and provide the necessary amounts of support. Remember: the cornerstone of good posture is letting the natural curves of your body do all the work for you!

Sources:

Mayfield Clinic

Mayo Clinic

Featured images:

License: Creative Commons image source

This article was written by Brennen Kliffmueller. Brennen has been volunteering in a physical therapy office for years now and has seen first hand the struggles patients have with back injuries. He also is a writer for eCompliance. Feel free to check out his Google+.

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Read a Study on Active Back Support Use in Reducing Fatigue in Office Personnel HERE!

Which is the Best Reading Posture?

Ever wonder why your back hurts while reading? Are you struggling to find the best sitting position?

Try these few tips to help you. Read below:

1) Sit straight in a not too over comfortable chair and table before you or simple hold the book in your lap (keeping some distance from your eyes)

2) Sufficient lighting from the left side; not behind or in front of you

3) Don’t stress your eyes, simply close and open them every few seconds

4) Take 5-10 minute break after an hour of reading and stretch your legs and hands

5) Text must be of good size to prevent strain

6) Lying in bed can decrease your eye sight (for some) try to not use this position

7) Using a professional grade Back Support for support

There are many other ways, but try these to make sure you get the ultimate reading experience without any back strain or tired eyes.

 

A Study on Active Back Support Use in Reducing Fatigue in Office Personnel

Dr. Robert Rectenwald D.C., B.C.A.O. as outlined an abstract on his study about Active Back support use in office personnel. Read below to see Dr. Rectenwald’s findings!

 

Introduction:

Flexor Pro back support- left sideThe suitability of a work station relative to ergonomics may affect the quality of work produced. Fatigue is a factor that decreases work quality. The support provided by office chairs is a factor in comfort and is possibly a factor in fatigue. The typical office chair has no provision for adjustability to the needs of the individual body type and dimension. The purpose of this study is to determine the effect of active back support (ABS) use on the fatigue level of office personnel.

The fatigue symptom survey (FSS) is composed of 9 questions about activities of daily living. The subject rates to what degree fatigue affects these activities. The least affected would score 1 and the most affected would score 7 per question. An individual who is least affected by stress in these 9 activities would score a 9 and one most affected would score 63.

Intervention:

An FSS was administered to determine the level of fatigue in 20 subjects. The subjects were office personnel who are seated at a desk for more than 50% of their 8 hour work day. Each subject was issued a Thumper active back support (ABS) with a lumbar section that is adjustable for both height and for pressure on the back. The ABS was attached to the subject’s office chair. The ABS was used at all times during their work day for a period of 90 days. At this point a follow-up FSS was administered.

Outcome:

The initial total combined FSS score of the 20 subjects was 418. The follow-up combined FSS score was 296.

Conclusion:

The use of an ABS was a factor in reducing fatigue level in office personnel who are seated for more than 50% of an 8 hour work shift.

 

Dr. Rectenwald Biography

Dr. Rectenwald has operated his own private chiropractic practice since 1985, was a Life University lab instructor, and has been a faculty clinician at Life since 1995. His interests include service on a Christian secondary education board; sports including tennis, running, motorcycle sport riding; chiropractic research topics: case studies and the technology of ergonomics.

Dr. Rectenwald is board certified in Atlas Orthogonal technique; board qualified in Grostic/orthospinology; H.I.O certified, and is rated proficient at Activator Advanced. His viewpoint: “Never underestimate the body’s ability to heal itself.”

Dr. Rectenwald has written several articles and presentations about his interests and areas of specialty. At the Center for Health and Optimum Performance, Dr. Rectenwald and his colleague, Dr. Pichette, have developed an upper cervical patient care unit. Here are his articles, a presentation, and details about the care unit.

Other research papers by Dr. Rectenwald