Safety Tips for Your Lower Back
80% of adults experience a back injury during their lifetime.
Many of these injuries occur at the workplace, while doing manual labor, or because of changes in the body due to aging. You can prevent lower back injuries by following these safety tips from acac Medical Director Dr. Greg Degnan:
Make sure your butt is more prominent than your belly. Strong glutes contribute to low back health by improving the biomechanics of the lumbar spine. Weight control and resistance training for the glutes is the solution!
Proper lifting is key. Over 75% of back injuries occur from lifting injuries! Proper lifting technique:
- keep a wide base of support.
- squat to lift, bending at the hips and knees only; keep the back as straight as possible.
- lift slowly and smoothly (never jerk) by straightening the hips and knees, not the back.
- keep the load as close to the belly button as possible.
- use your feet to change positions and, if you must twist, lead with your hips while keeping your shoulders in line with your pelvis.
- set the load down by once again squatting, rather than bending at the waist.
Use grips and handles whenever possible.
Use ladders for placement above waist or shoulder level and keep the load close to your body.
Ask for help and don’t hesitate to use available assist tools like attachable handles, slings, grate lifters, etc.