Today I want to talk to you about Back Safety. This is a picture of an x-ray that was taken recently on my lower back. As you can tell the spine and the vertrabrae are not straight. This is a result of compensating for the pain in my lower back. The injury occured after a fun and physical weekend in the mountains. I missed a few days of work and was in pain for about 5 days. I had a long talk with the chiropractor and she gave me some helpful tips to care for your back.
First things first, whenever you pick anything up, bend at your knees. It does not have to be heavy to throw out your back. Anything that you carry on your back or shoulders (including tool bags) should not weigh any more than 10% of your body weight. Ex 200 lb body weight = 20 lb tool bag. Alternate your shoulders if you carry a tool bag and/or purse.
Next: stretch, stretch stretch. Bend over, touch your toes, and reach your arms to the sky; keep yourself limber. Sit straight and don’t slouch – slouching puts extra tension on your lower and upper back near your neck. If you do hurt your back remember: R.I.C.E. Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevate. When laying down, elevate your legs under your knees. Icy Hot does work but I found much better results with ice.
I found a tool bag that is actually a backpack that has worked out very well for me so far. I used to stretch to the side and would always feel some cracking on the right side of my back which is where I would carry my tool bag. Since using the backpack design I noticed my back does not crack any more when I stretch to the right side. The backpack also comes in handy when climbing ladders as you do not have a bag swinging from your side. There are a lot of bags out there and I found the one that I like at home depot. If you have any questions, please feel free to comment and I will do my best to answer those for you.
The more you know, the less it hurts.
– Safety Sean