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Fitness Articles

Protecting Your Back

Use Proper Body Mechanics for Back Protection

  • Doing laundry: Always squat or kneel to get clothes in and out of the dryer. Avoid twisting back and forth from machine to laundry basket. When folding clothes, sit with clothes in front of you, or have them on a surface that allows you to stand up straight.
  • 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.
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    About The Author

    Sara Hambridge Sara Hambridge
    Sara is a graduate of Saint Louis University's physical therapy program. She practices physical therapy and enjoys sand volleyball, yoga, and Pilates.

    Member Comments

    • SISSYC2
      A few years ago I had a herniated disc. Physical therapy helped but I read about a DVD for back pain. It is Viniyoga Therapy by Gary Kraftsow for lower back, sacrum and hips. It was a lifesaver for me. Still do it occasionally when I get twinges of pain. Well worth the $15 at Walmart. - 10/30/2014 11:15:19 AM
    • Thanks so much for this. - 10/28/2014 10:02:31 PM
    • It's NEVER too late to start working toward fitness. - 10/28/2014 7:24:33 PM
    • Being morbidly obese and working a lot at a computer, my posture, well... just sucks. I suffer from all kinds of pain. I was wondering, being 45, is there hope that I can get my back into shape and fix the posture still or is it too late and pretty much damage is done? Is there any exercise or stretching I should be doing or can do to improve things? May not be the right place to ask, if not I am sorry. - 10/28/2014 8:38:43 AM
    • RIDHA91
      it is great for your back, and I want mencobannya to be like you, maybe not directly but I will try to keep that in the future there is no problem on my back,
        thank you for writing about this article I hope it can be useful to me or to others. and another one, I want you to see my website and maybe you are interested, can visit the following page http://about-towe thank you for your time to read comments from me - 8/19/2014 11:29:54 PM
    • THANKS - 1/7/2014 11:28:15 AM
      good tips - 1/23/2013 10:27:02 AM
    • @GREENSHADE: When doing the dishes, open the cabinet under the sink and rest the front half of your foot (left or right) there. It is very helpful. If you do not have a cabinet there, fix yourself up with a box that you can use. You don't want it to be too high. Try a few heights to see what works best. - 10/15/2012 11:37:34 AM
    • I personally have a tought time with the back gestapo. I still prefer to lift the "improper" way as I guess I was blessed with a strong back (yes I have hurt it in the past once due to my own stupidity but more often to MVA'S not my fault and accidents at work). I personally find its better to keep as fit as I can and to look after my back by having a strong core and back muscles.
      - 3/26/2012 8:42:13 PM
    • Thanks for the suggestion about propping up one foot while bathing a pet in the sink. I'll try that when I'm doing dishes - the only time I really have back pain. - 3/11/2010 8:31:54 PM
    • I work in a hospital and always need to lift patients, so have always tried my very best to be "back injury conscious" however, I somehow injured my sacroiliac joint this spring. Not fun, lots of sciatica and still gives me pain even after Physical Therapy, Chiropractic, pain shots into the joint, exercise, etc. Never would have even considered a SI joint injury. Am told that strengthening the core is the key to prevention of it. Wished I'd known before. - 1/2/2010 12:13:18 AM
    • LESHOF
      I would also like exercises to strengthen the core muscles - like DewyDame, I also have spondylolisthesis
      , a bulging disc, and osteoarthritis in the lumbar spine area. Have had the injections and nerve ablation and am much improved however I need to exercise core muscles and don't want to cause injury since I feel so much better. Can you help? - 5/7/2009 2:08:10 PM
    • Very good, concise article. Would like to see more coverage for people with special needs. Thank you.

      - 2/8/2009 10:43:54 PM
    • I have spondylolisthesis
      , and was told to quit all exercise until the symptoms disappear. After 2 epidurals, I am doing much better. Doctors tell me to exercise, lose weight (doing that), strengthen the core, be sure not to arch the back or twist the back, and stretch the hamstrings. When I asked what to do, I was given ONE Pilates exercise called Boat Pose. Cycling I can do but NordicTrak arches my back too much. I was told to walk also, but I arch my back too much walking, for now. I am on a waiting list for water walking and water aerobics.

      I was told this general rule: If I have sciatic pain again, stop.

      In the past I loved Curves and my NordicTrak and dance aerobics.

      Because I can't do my "favorites" my emotions tell me that I can't do any exercise. lol

      What exercises on SP's site are possibilities to try?

      Joan - 1/2/2009 11:20:22 AM
      For those who, perhaps due to hip problems, cannot squat, it's wise to have one of those grabbers on hand on every floor of your home. It'll save your back a lot of unnecessary - and unhealthy - strain. - 1/4/2008 8:44:04 AM
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