We’ve got your back—10 tips sure to save your back

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We’ve got your back— 10 tips sure to save your back

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), about 80% 1 of adults report back pain. But all it takes is a few simple steps to keep your back in ship-shape. For starters, experts from NIH suggest just 30 minutes of daily exercise, something that helps strengthen muscles that support your back. Walking and stationary cycling are good options. Yoga and gentle stretching also helps improve posture—another key to better back health. Always remember, strong muscles in the back, mid-section and legs will help protect your back.

Here are a few ways to save your back during daily caregiving routines.

  1. When helping someone out of bed, make sure you are face-to-face, then ask them to roll onto their side. 2
  2. Next, suggest they push up onto one elbow.
  3. Gently assist their legs and feet while guiding their extremities towards the edge of the bed so the feet may contact the floor.
  4. Whether you’re lifting a heavy box or picking up a ball for the dog to fetch, bend at knees or hips, and avoid bending the back. 3
  5. Monitor your posture—that goes for standing and sitting.
  6. Try to keep your back straight.
  7. Avoid slouching.
  8. When shoveling snow— avoid picking up heavy loads of snow and tossing over it over the shoulder. 4
  9. Instead, push the shovel along the driveway. 5
  10. Lighten the load by only shoveling small portions of snow at a time.
  11.    

Reference: 1. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/backpain/detail_backpain.htm National Institutes of Health 2. http://www.caregiverslibrary.org/caregivers-resources/grp-home-care/hsgrp-personal-care-activities/healthy-transfers-article.aspx Aging and Adult Services Administration Department of Social and Health Services, State of Washington. 3. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/tutorials/howtopreventbackpain/hp129106.pdf National Institutes of Health 4. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00060 American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, link was provided on NIH website, reviewed, Jan. 2015 5. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00060 American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, link was provided on NIH website, reviewed, Jan. 2015

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