How to Prevent Back Injuries

How to Prevent Back Injuries

One of the best ways to prevent back pain is to keep your back muscles strong.

Follow these steps to help protect your back and prevent back pain:

Do back-strengthening and stretching exercises at least 2 or 3 times a week. Combine exercise, like walking or swimming, with specific exercises to keep the muscles in your back and abdomen strong and flexible.

Stand and sit up straight. Good posture is important to avoiding low back problems. How you stand, sit, and lift things has an increasing effect on your spine health.

Avoid heavy lifting. If you do lift something heavy, bend your knees and keep your back straight. This way, your leg muscles will do most of the work.

Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight puts added pressure on your spine and lower back. If you are overweight, lose weight to help lower the strain on your back.

Avoid Smoking. Both the smoke and the nicotine cause your spine to age faster than normal.

What are the common causes of back pain at work?

A number of factors can contribute to back pain at work. For example:

Force. Exerting too much force on your back such as by lifting or moving heavy objects can cause injury.

Repetition. Repeating certain movements can lead to muscle fatigue or injury.

Posture. Slouching exaggerates your back’s natural curves, which can lead to muscle fatigue and injury.

Follow these guidelines when you are lifting heavy objects:

  • Position yourself close to the object you want to lift.
  • Separate your feet shoulder-width apart to give yourself a solid base of support.
  • Bend at the knees.
  • Tighten your stomach muscles.
  • Lift with your leg muscles as you stand up.

If an object is too heavy or is an awkward shape, do not try to lift it by yourself. Get help from someone near you.

Supporting Your Back While Sitting

When sitting, keep your back in a normal, slightly arched position. Make sure your chair supports your lower back. Keep your head and shoulders erect. Make sure your working surface is at the proper height so you don’t have to lean forward. Once an hour, if possible, stand, and stretch. Place your hands on your lower back and gently arch backward.

Dr. Adrian C. Dumitru is a board certified and fellowship trained pain management specialist. To learn more, or to schedule an appointment please call (713) 461-8555.

 

About the author...

Adrian C. Dumitru, M.D., began his 27-year journey toward mastering the complexities of pain management by becoming an anesthesiologist. In pain management, a field where everyone from family therapists to general practitioners often participate, Dr. Dumitru saw the need for a physician with his particular expertise to oversee a multi-disciplinary approach.

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