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Protecting Your Back

Use Proper Body Mechanics for Back Protection
  -- By Sara Hambidge, Physical Therapist
We've all heard the advice, "lift with your legs," and this guidance is especially true for people with weak, injured or arthritic joints.

Your body undergoes a great deal of stress and changes throughout your lifespan. The last thing it needs is additional stress caused by improperly lifting, bending, or getting out of bed. Here's why.

The lower back and sacroiliac joints (located at the lower back on each side of the spine) are particularly vulnerable. Twisting or incorrectly lifting objects can place undue stress on this area of the body, which is already susceptible to injury, aches, and pains. For these reasons, it's essential that you learn how to use the mechanics of your own body to your advantage, whether picking up clothing off the ground or carrying a heavy box.

Simply put, your leg muscles are stronger than your back muscles, so use them! Below are some simple techniques that will help keep your spine healthy: The guidelines may seem like commonsense, but when you're busy (or just not thinking about it) it's easy to make mistakes here and there. Just because your back doesn't hurt now doesn't mean that you aren't causing some damage. So don't let your back cause you any more grief. Protect it now so you can enjoy all the experiences that life has to offer.