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Protecting the Back, at Work

Back injuries are something so widespread that over 90% of all people will feel pain there during their lives. While we can shake our fists at evolution and how that led to such an important part of the body becoming so delicate, the actual truth is that we take far less care of our backs than we should.

The Spine

Made up of hollow vertebrae separated by fluid discs and supported by a network of muscles, your back is what allows for your body to connect with your brain. This is because the nerves that run directly to the brain are found up and down the center of the spine. While straight at one point, due to gravity our spines eventually developed its natural curves. Due to laziness, we don’t support these curves, resulting in a back that hurts and is prone to being injured.

Protection

As we are all well aware of, your spine is not designed to move heavy stuff around. It’s the muscles that are designed to do that. However, if your posture is bad, your muscles aren’t doing their job, resulting in a spine that takes on the brunt of physical work that may very well damage it. This is why always having proper posture is so important. It allows your muscles to actively bear the weight of gravity and anything else you put on your body, be it by lifting boxes or through pushing carts.

Arguably, you can strengthen these muscles through proper posture alone, but additional exercises are always encouraged for stronger support. Developing these muscles is the perfect way to ward off injuries caused by sitting too much at work.

In addition, avoiding all activities that would put your back in danger is a must. Unless you have been trained to correctly pick up and move around heavy weight, trying to do so will only cause your back a lot of pain should something slip out of place. If an object is too heavy, either find someone else to lift it or attach it to an air balancer. With the ability to handle up to 2,000 pounds, there’s no excuse for your company to not have such a device.

Finally, if you are heavier set, you need to lose weight. Millions of years of evolution resulted in a spine that can only keep a healthy adult erect without suffering damage. By walking around with extra weight continuously balanced precariously on your hips and two legs, misalignment becomes a very real problem. Under such compression, the spine adapts by bending in ways it was never designed to, leading to things like chronic back pain. By balancing a proper diet and exercise, you can easily shed the extra pounds and regain control of your spine before it becomes permanently distorted.

About Sara T. Loving

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