All of us are at risk for back injuries. Even those physically fit are no less than at risk. Even in the comforts of our homes, we may get back injuries. It can literally happen anywhere and anytime especially when we don’t take extra precaution. By carrying something very heavy or by pushing something away without proper body movement, back injuries are bound to happen. Here are then tips to prevent back injuries using proper body mechanics you can use:
Avoid lifting anything that weighs more than 51 pounds. If doing so is necessary, get help from others or use assistive equipment to lift an object.
Move in a direction opposite of the weight. For example, you carry a heavy suitcase on your right hand. The weight of the suitcase becomes part of your total weight at that moment. This makes an imbalance in weight so you’ll have to counteract it by moving in a direction away from the weight. This means you’ll have to lean on your left side since the heavy suitcase is on your right.
Hold the objects as close as possible to your body (more specifically to the center of gravity). When you stand, your body’s center of gravity is usually in the navel. Hold, for example, your grocery bag close to your navel so you can achieve greater stability and prevent undue pressure to the spine.
If possible, pull rather than push. Pulling an object is easier and safer as you can exert more control of an object’s movement. Spread your feet apart then move your rear leg back if you’re facing the object or move your front foot forward if you’re facing away from the object. In this way, you can maintain balance since you’ve widen your base of support when pulling. If pushing needs to be done, move your front foot forward then push the object.
When lifting an object from the floor to the waist level, spread your feet apart again, flex your knees then lift the object. Make sure you don’t put the weight on your back. And this is how you prevent back injuries using proper body mechanics.