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Use these steps as guidelines to assist you in keeping your body healthy.  When in question always get advice prior to the activity in question.   "An ounce of prevention" is worth its weight in gold.

LIFTING

  • Get close to the load, grasp firmly and test gently before you lift.
  • Use your stomach muscles to support your spine.
  • Keep your back upright and use your leg muscles to lift the load.
  • Lift and set the load down smoothly, avoid jerking movements.
  • Make sure your path is clear.
  • Get help if the load is too big, awkward, heavy, etc.
  • When lifting with someone else, always raise and lower at the same time. 

DON'Tbend over with your legs straight or twist while you are lifting. Very important, too, is to avoid trying to lift objects above the height of your shoulder. Improper lifting can lead to facet syndrome and vertebral disc problems.

 

STANDING/WALKING

  • Stand with one foot up slightly on a foot rest and change positions often.

  • Bend with your knees to keep your back straight.

  • Walk with good posture, keeping your head high, chin tucked in, pelvis forward, toes straight ahead, and shoulders back.

  • Be sure to wear comfortable flat-soled shoes, that give good support.

Don't stand in one place for a long time. Don't bend forward with straight legs or walk with poor posture. Avoid wearing high-heeled or platform shoes when you are standing or walking for any extended length of time. Postural pain and other symptoms can be the result.

DRIVING

  • Move your car seat forward to keep your knees bent and slightly higher than your hips.

  • Sit as straight as you can.

  • Be sure the hollow of your back is fully supported. If not, use a small pillow.

  • Adjust the headrest if possible to within 2 inches of your head.

  • Remember to drive with both hands on the wheel at all times.

Don't drive sitting far back from the steering wheel. Reaching for the pedals and steering wheel increases the curve of your lower back and creates pain. Postural and musculo-ligamentous syndromes could be the long term result.

SITTING

  • Sit so you can place both your feet on the floor with your knees slightly higher than your hips.

  • You can cross your legs or put your feet up on a stool or footrest.

  • Always sit firmly against the back of the chair with your lumbar spine supported by the cushion or a small pillow.

Don't sit in a chair that's too high or too far from your work. Avoid leaning forward for long periods with your back arched; also avoid slouching. Prolonged sitting in these positions can lead to postural syndrome.  Also avoid sitting on items that would potentially unbalance you sitting position, such as wallets in the hip pocket.  Take regular breaks and stretch.

SLEEPING

A good night's sleep is good for you and your back. To take the ache out sleeping, follow these suggestions; sleep on a firm mattress, and rest on your side with your knees bent slightly or on your back with a pillow under your knees.  Avoid positions that create a  twisting of the back or abnormal positions of the head.

Don't sleep or lounge on soft, sagging, no-support mattresses or cushions. The habit of sleeping on your stomach can cause further back strain. Sleeping without supporting your back properly can lead to postural and musculo-ligamentous syndromes.

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