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  Tips for preventing back Strain

Back pain often results from a muscle strain. Strains are injuries that affect the muscle or tendon. Strains usually occur when the muscle or tendon has suffered a minor tear, pull, and twist. A back strain can be extremely painful and can be temporarily debilitating. A severe back strain can limit an individual’s ability to stand, walk or perform normal everyday activities.

A muscle strain can be caused from something as simple as shaving, carrying groceries, washing the car and a variety of other everyday activities. Preventing back pain is much easier than trying to deal with back pain.

Following these tips and guidelines may help to avoid a back muscle strain:

 

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Lifting

  • Stand close to the object that is being lifted. Lifting an object away from the body can cause back stress 7 - 10 times greater than if the object were close to the body.
  • Bend the knees and tighten the abdominal muscles when lifting an object.
  • Place feet shoulder width apart. Having a wide base of support will allow for a safer transfer.
  • Never raise the arms above the shoulders.
  • Never twist the body when lifting or moving an object. Always take steps or pivot when you need to move to another location while carrying a heavy load.

Twisting

Pay attention to the spine and try to avoid twisting motions. For example, when doing laundry avoid reaching in the washer and then twisting to reach in the dryer. When standing up to shave the legs, avoid twisting to shave the back of the legs.

Never Pull When You Can Push

Pulling an object puts more stress on the back muscles than pushing.

Exercise

It is a known fact that people who exercise are less likely to suffer injuries. Strengthening exercises can reduce the risk of back pain. Strong abdominal muscles help protect the back from muscle strains. Sit-ups are recommended to strengthen the abdominal muscles.

Stretching

Muscles that are stiff are more likely to suffer a muscle strain. Individuals who perform back stretches daily are less likely to suffer from back pain.

  • Pelvic Tilt - Lie on back with feet flat on floor and knees bent. Push the lower region of the back into the floor. Hold for 10 seconds and then release. Repeat 10 times.
  • Knee to Chest - Lie on back with legs straight. Bend one knee and grab behind the thigh and gently pull it towards the chest. Hold for 10 seconds.
  • Extension - Stand straight up with hands on hips. Extend back into extension. Hold for 10 seconds.

Lumbar Support

Use a lumbar support when driving or sitting for long periods. Lumbar rolls can be purchased at any health store or mega retail store. The McKenzie lumbar roll is an excellent choice for lumbar support.

Avoid Prolonged Sitting

Sitting for a long period can compress the spine and cause spinal disc problems. Move and stretch every fifteen minutes when sitting or standing in the same position.

Decrease Stress

Stress can increase the risk of muscular strains. When an individual is stressed the muscles get stiff and are more likely to suffer a strain. An individual can reduce the risk of muscular strain by helping the muscles relax. A massage or heating pad may help to relax the muscles that are tense from stress.

Back pain can be excruciating and hinder an individual’s ability to perform normal daily activities. It is essential for individual’s to perform good body mechanics, maintain a healthy weight and stay physically active.

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