Preventing Back Injuries:
Whether you lift heavy things or sit at a desk all day, your back is subject to abuse. Because it formed from spines that were only meant to be held vertically, the odd twists and turns evolution bestowed on it to get it horizontal means well over 90% of the population experiences back pain. Though the back can’t be protected forever, there are preventative measures you can take to keep it going stronger for longer.
Those that are forced to do repetitive motions every day or move around extremely heavy objects often find themselves the most at risk for on-the-job back injuries no matter how closely they adhere to company policy. In these cases, it’s time to opt for physical support by way of a lifting belt. Often used by weightlifters, these additions are designed to keep the lower back rigid while performing strenuous lifting in order to reduce your chance of injury. Though it may not look the coolest, anyone with a slipped disc will be happy to explain the pain caused by not protecting the lower back.
For the office workers, back injury prevention at the office takes the form of a specialized pillow. These are designed to affix to the back of your chair. The pillow itself is very firm and juts outward, continually pushing at the bottom of your spine as a reminder to keep it straight. It also provides support when you sit back by maintaining the spine’s natural curve. If you can’t afford a fancy pillow, a folded up towel or regular pillow bent in half will do the trick just fine.
If your body is screaming for a break from the position it’s in, listen to it. One of the most damaging things we do to ourselves is ignore our internal signals that something isn’t going well. For the heavy lifters, this means giving your body time to recuperate and relax. For office workers, this means getting up and walking around until your body is ready to sit again. Each day that passes reveals more and more evidence that both repetitive motions and extended sitting periods are detrimental to overall health and wellbeing. Don’t let this destroy your back.
Finally, keep your weight in check. The spine was only ever evolved to deal with healthy weights. Anything more than that begins putting added pressure on the discs between our individual vertebra. These discs keep our vertebrae from rubbing up against one another. When too much weight is put on these, the pressure builds up, leading to an increase in the chance of a hernia. While occasional additional weight is certainly acceptable, continued and sustained pressure builds up over time, completely wreaking havoc on the spine itself. The back then tries to overcompensate and starts to shape itself incorrectly, leading to a whole other myriad of problems.