Prevent Back Pain, Lift Properly

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Five Ways to Prevent Back Pain

Don't carry anything extremely heavy or use a supported (rolling) bag.

Lose weight. Losing five pounds of weight has the effect of removing 25 pounds of weight from your spine.

Exercise regularly, using low-impact aerobic activity and supported stomach crunches. Excessive high-impact exercises such as running may contribute to back pain.

Take your vitamins. More than 80 percent of people will experience some form of fracture or osteoporosis during their lifetime, simply because they don't have enough calcium and Vitamin D.

By age 50, have the density of your bones evaluated with a DEXA (Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry) scan. If the screening reveals evidence of osteoporosis, immediate treatment can help preserve your quality of life as you grow older.

How to Lift a Heavy Object Properly

The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons has developed tips to help you reduce your risk of back pain. Whether you are lifting and moving a person or a heavy object, the guidelines are the same.

  • Plan ahead what you want to do and don't be in a hurry.

  • Spread your feet shoulder-width apart to give yourself a solid base of support.

  • Bend your knees.

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  • Tighten your stomach muscles.

  • Position the person or object close to your body before lifting.

  • Lift with your leg muscles. Never lift an object by keeping your legs stiff while bending over it.

  • Avoid twisting your body; instead, point your toes in the direction you want to move and pivot in that direction.

  • When placing an object on a high shelf, move close to the shelf. Do not stand far away and extend your arms with the object in your hands.

  • Maintain the natural curve of your spine; don't bend at your waist.

  • When appropriate, use an assistive device such as a transfer belt, sliding board or draw sheet to move a person.

  • Do not try to lift something that is too heavy or an awkward shape. Get help.

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The source of this article is http://www.dukehealth.org

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