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Preventing Back Injuries. Reduce Your Risk of Back Injuries Most Americans experience back pain at some point in their lives. Back injuries account for.

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Presentation on theme: "Preventing Back Injuries. Reduce Your Risk of Back Injuries Most Americans experience back pain at some point in their lives. Back injuries account for."— Presentation transcript:

1 Preventing Back Injuries

2 Reduce Your Risk of Back Injuries Most Americans experience back pain at some point in their lives. Back injuries account for billions of dollars of lost productivity each year. Back pain does not have to lay you up. Take some simple steps to reduce your risk of injury.

3 Identify Your risk Check off the factors that apply to you  I often carry heavy items  I am more than 20% overweight  I stand or sit in one position for 30 minutes or more  I cradle a phone between my ear & shoulder  I sleep on a mattress that is too hard or soft  I wear high heeled shoes  I perform tasks that require frequent bending  I reach for items above my shoulders  I carry or lift children  I lift heavy objects off the floor

4 Risk Level The more boxes you have checked on the previous page, the greater your risk of back injury. You can prevent or reduce some of these risk factors by developing healthy back habits, such as lifting correctly, practicing healthy back habits, and adding strengthening and stretching exercises to your daily routine.

5 Causes of Back Pain Weak muscles Poor posture Improper footwear Lack of exercise Extra weight Improper lifting

6 Posture Tips Avoid slouching or leaning forward Sit or stand upright with your shoulders over your hips Proper posture gives your spine the support it needs

7 Proper Lifting Techniques Before you begin a lift –Evaluate the load –Can you manage it? –Get assistance if needed –Rearrange the load if needed –Use mechanical lift equipment if needed

8 Proper Lifting Techniques To lift correctly –Get a firm footing and shoulder-width stance –Bend your knees and hips instead of your waist –Tighten your stomach muscles –Use your legs –Keep the load close to your body –Keep your back upright

9 Practice Healthy Back Habits Don’t sit for too long. Get up, stretch and walk around from time to time Have back support to help you sit up straight Work at a comfortable height at your desk or work bench Place often used objects within arm’s reach to avoid twisting

10 Practice Healthy Back Habits Avoid cradling the phone on your shoulder. Use a speaker phone or headset Shift luggage weight from side to side to balance the load Use good posture when standing Avoid awkward or unbalanced postures as well a crossing your legs Use a mattress that supports your back

11 Strengthen and Stretch Back Muscles Condition your back muscles to work as a team. Start a regular exercise program Strengthen the muscles in the back, upper legs, and stomach Increase your flexibility Maintain a healthy body weight

12 Exercises to Strengthen Your Back Wall slide - to strengthen upper leg muscles –Stand with your back against a wall and feet slightly apart about 1 foot out from the wall. –Slowing sink into a sitting position. –Hold for 5 seconds, then slide back up the wall. –Relax and repeat

13 Exercises to Strengthen Your Back Crunches – to strengthen stomach muscles –Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor –Fold your arms across your chest –Use your stomach muscles to lift your shoulders blades and head a few inches off the floor –Hold for 5 seconds and slowly lower back to the floor –Relax and repeat

14 Exercises to Strengthen Your Back Elbow to Knee-to strengthen stomach muscles –Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor –Place hands behind head to support your neck –Press your lower back into the floor –Using your stomach muscles to lift your left shoulder toward your right knee –Hold for 5 seconds and slowly lower back to the floor –Relax and repeat on the other side

15 Exercises to Strengthen Your Back Trunk raise – to strengthen lower back –Lie on your stomach with your hands at your sides –Lift your upper body off the floor as high as you can without lifting your arms –Keep your spine and neck in line. Don’t tilt your head back –Hold for 5 seconds, and slowly lower yourself back to the floor –Relax and repeat

16 Exercises to Stretch Your Back Pelvic tilt –Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor –Place your hands behind your head or at your sides –Press your lower back into the floor –Tighten your stomach and buttock muscles –Tilt your pelvis up slightly and hold for 5 to 10 seconds –Relax and repeat

17 Exercises to Stretch Your Back Knee Drop –Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor –Keeping your knees together, drop them to the left as far as possible –Keep both of your shoulders on the floor –Hold for 5 seconds –Relax and repeat on the other side

18 Exercises to Stretch Your Back Knee to Chest –Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor –Raise your right knee toward your chest and hold your thigh behind the knee –Slowly and gently pull your right knee to your chest –Hold for 5 seconds, then lower leg to floor –Relax and repeat on the other side

19 Exercises to Stretch Your Back Hamstring stretch –Lie on your back with your straight out in front of you and your buttocks close to a doorway –Raise your right leg and rest it against the doorway –Keep your legs straight, but don’t lock your knees –Hold for up to 20 seconds, then lower leg to floor –Relax and repeat on the other side

20 Exercises to Stretch Your Back The Cat –Kneel on all fours –Distribute your weight evenly on your hands and knees, flatten your back and hold your head in line with your spine –Tighten your stomach muscles –Round your shoulders and gently pull in your buttocks –Drop your head and neck forward so you are looking down toward your knees –Hold for 5 seconds –Relax and repeat

21 Exercises to Stretch Your Back Press up –Lie on your stomach with your face down and your palms flat on the floor –Keeping your pelvis on the floor, lift yourself up onto your elbows –Raise your chest and allow your lower back to sag and lengthen –Look straight ahead. Don’t arch your neck by looking up –Hold for 5 seconds and lower yourself back onto the floor –Relax and repeat

22 Treating a Back Attack Signals –Pain in the lower or upper back –Pain down the side or back of the leg and/or into the foot –Tingling or numbness in part of the leg

23 Treating a Back Attack Home Care –Take it easy if you have mild pain –Rest flat on your back if you have severe pain –Apply cold packs and ice to reduce pain, swelling, and muscle spasms –Take over-the-counter pain medication

24 Treating a Back Attack After the swelling goes down –Apply heat to soothe the pain –Slowly return to your normal activity level After your back heals –Use good habits to prevent re-injury –Rest, stretch, and strengthen your back

25 Treating a Back Attack Call your doctor if you have: –A loss of bladder or bowel control –Numbness in the groin or rectal area –Numbness, pain, or extreme weakness in lower extremities –Significant pain for more than 1 week –Symptoms that are getting worse

26 Prevention is Up to You Use proper posture Use appropriate lifting techniques Practice healthy back habits Strengthen your back, leg and stomach muscles Stretch your back, leg and stomach muscles


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