Ways You Are Beating Up Your Back
- Posted on: Nov 30 2018
We all put lots of unnecessary strain on our backs, usually due to a lack of foresight or just not paying attention to how we’re leveraging our spine with our movements.
Since we see the end result of this kind of damage here at DFW Center for Spinal Disorders, here are three popular ways we hammer our backs, and maybe some keys to limiting any damage.
Turkey Bowl, anyone?
Weekend pickup basketball games, or worse yet, the annual Thanksgiving “touch” football games are notorious for back injuries. Combatants in these contests go full speed, as if they were still in their 20s, not 50s, and their backs pay the price.
If you want to continue to play sports that are usually the domain of younger participants, even just on the occasional weekend encounter, that’s no problem, but you need to do some preparation to avoid injury. The key is to stretch and strengthen your core muscles. Your obliques are especially important for back stability.
Poor lifting technique
Improper bending and lifting is a back killer. We’ve all done it — lifted something and felt either a full-on spasm or a twinge that hinted at a near miss.
To properly lift, you need to engage your abs to support your back. To do this, there are some keys:
- Bend your knees and keep your back straight. Don’t bend at the waist.
- Keep the object close to you. The farther away, the more strain you place on your lower back, not your abdominal muscles.
- Never hold an item higher than your armpit or lower than your knees.
- Don’t move something that weight more than 20% or your body weight. If you need to do so, hire a young person.
- Don’t pivot, twist, or turn while lifting. Change direction with your feet, not your waist.
Simple tasks such as bending over to unload the dishwasher can strain your back, if you’re not paying attention. You’d be surprised at the simple movements that can cause back strain if your back isn’t ready for the movement, meaning if your mind is elsewhere thinking about your boss at work or whatever. Simply be cognizant of the movements you’re making, and you’ll avoid injury.
Keeping your back healthy is easier if you prepare for things such as sports, if you practice good technique when lifting and moving things, and if you simply pay attention to how even the simplest movements involve your spine and back.
Of course, if you have an injury, that’s the time to call us at DFW Center for Spinal Disorders. We have 10 locations in the Dallas/Fort Worth area to help you and your back. Contact us at (817) 916-4685 to make an appointment.
Posted in: Back Pain