Back Safety & Lifting
Very few people are affected by back pain Back injuries cost employers an estimated $10 billion a year The back is a complex system of bones, discs, muscles and nerves The spine is a straight column of rigid bones The safest way to lift an object is to stand close to it, bending your knees and letting your legs do the work. Regular exercise will keep your back limber and help prevent injury False False True False True True Test your Spine QTrue or False
A lumbar support or rolled-up towel placed in the small of your back while sitting will relieve stress on your spine Your lower back is subject to greater mechanical stress than any other part of your body If you're under 50, there is no need to worry about osteoporosis Once you've injured your back you can never fully recover True True False False Test your Spine QTrue or False
Why have Training?? • Second most common injury in the state • Second (only to the common cold) most frequent visit to the doctors office • Statistically, 8 out of 10 will suffer some sort of back pain throughout their life • One of the leading causes of disability and time lost from work • Direct costs estimated at $24 billion, indirect costs reaching $35 billion with a total of nearly $60 billion to the employer
National Statistics Source: National Safety Council Injury Facts, 2000 Edition
Anatomy of the Back • 7 Cervical Vertebrae • 12 Thoracic Vertebrae • 5 Large Lumbar Vertebrae • Sacrum • Coccyx or Tailbone
Lumbar Spine with Disc Details • Spinal Cord • Disc • Vertebra • Spinal Nerves
Deep Muscles of the Back Erector Spinae Posterior Serratus Muscles
Deep Muscles of the Back Serratus Anterior and Transversus External Oblique
The Force is Against You
The Forces Involved The amount of force you place on your back in lifting may surprise you! Think of your back as a lever. With the fulcrum in the center, it only takes ten pounds of pressure to lift a ten pound object.
The Forces Involved If you shift the fulcrum to one side, it takes much more force to lift the same object. Your waist acts like the fulcrum in a lever system, on a 10:1 ratio. Lifting a ten pound object puts 100 pounds of pressure on your lower back.
The Forces Involved When you add in the 105 pounds of the average human upper torso, you see that lifting a ten pound object actually puts 1,150 pounds of pressure on the lower back.
The Forces Involved If you were 25 pounds overweight, it would add an additional 250 pounds of pressure on your back every time you bend over.
Types of Back Injuries
Back Strain • Definition: Strains are tears or stretches in the muscle fibers or the tendons that connect muscles to bones. Strains can range from relatively mild injuries, with some muscle fibers being torn, to large muscle tears with swelling and bleeding present. • Symptoms/Signs: • Pain, swelling, and tenderness in a muscle group or joint
Back Sprain • Definition: A sprain occurs when a ligament -- the tissue that connects bones together -- is stretched or torn. • Symptoms • joint pain or muscle pain • swelling • discoloration of the skin, especially bruising • impaired joint function
Bulging Disc • A bulging disc appears to have moved or slipped out of place. Discs cant really move, but swelling or years of poor posture can leave them protruding from between the vertebrae. The vertebrae squeeze the bulging disc and cause pain
Herniated Disc • A herniated disc is a rupture of the jelly-like substance from inside one of the fibrous discs that provide cushioning between the vertebrae of the spine. Herniation results in pressure on nearby nerves which can result in a variety of symptoms, depending on the location of the affected disc.
Causes of Back Injuries
Common Causes of Back Injuries Anytime you find yourself doing one of these things, you should think: DANGER! My back is at risk! Try to avoid heavy lifting . . Especially repetitive lifting over a long period of time
Common Causes of Back Injuries Twisting at the waist while lifting or holding a heavy load . . . this frequently happens when using a shovel.
Common Causes of Back Injuries Reaching and lifting . . . over your head, across a table, or out the back of a truck . . . .
Common Causes of Back Injuries Lifting or carrying objects with awkward or odd shapes . . . .
Common Causes of Back Injuries Working in awkward, uncomfortable positions . . .
Common Causes of Back Injuries Sitting or standing too long in one position. . . sitting can be very hard on the lower back . . . .
Common Causes of Back Injuries Improper Sitting • If you stand or sit with your head forward, your upper back rounded and your chest collapsed, your posture is less than optimal and can result in muscle strain throughout your body • While standing or sitting, you should practice proper posture. Keep your head erect, your shoulders back but relaxed and your stomach in.
Common Causes of Back Injuries It is also possible to injure your back slipping on a wet floor or ice . . .
Prevent Back Injuries • Avoid lifting and bending whenever you can • Place objects up off the floor • Raise/lower shelves • Use carts and dolleys • Use cranes, hoists, lift tables, and other lift-assist devices whenever you can • Test the weight of an object before lifting by picking up a corner • Get help if its too heavy for you to lift it alone
Prevent Back Injuries • Use proper lift procedures . . . Follow these steps when lifting . . . • Take a balanced stance, feet shoulder-width apart • Squat down to lift, get as close as you can • Get a secure grip, hug the load • Lift gradually using your legs, keep load close to you, keep back and neck straight • Once standing, change directions by pointing your feet and turn your whole body. Avoid twisting at your waist • To put load down, use these guidelines in reverse
Help your Back
Things You Can Do • Minimize problems with your back by doing stretches and exercises that tone the muscles in your back, hips and thighs • Note: Before beginning any exercise program, you should check with your doctor
Stretch and Exercise! • Exercise regularly, every other day. • Warm up slowly . . . A brisk walk is a good way to warm up • Stretching loosens the muscles and prepares them for the workout • Inhale deeply before each repetition of an exercise and exhale when performing each repetition.
Lie down on back. Pull both knees in to chest until you feel a comfortable stretch in lower back. Keep the back relaxed Hold for 45 to 60 seconds. Release. Repeat 2 times. Do once per day Stretches To Help Your BackDouble knee-to-chest stretch
Stretches To Help Your Back Trunk flexion stretch • On hands and knees, tuck in chin and arch back • Slowly sit back on heels, letting shoulders drop toward the floor • Keep the back relaxed • Hold for 45-60 seconds • Release. Repeat 2 times • Do once per day
Stretches to Help Your BackMid-back rotation stretch • Lie on stomach. Lift body so that only hands and feet touch the floor • Reach to each side as far as possible, keeping chest as low to floor as possible • Hold for 45-60 seconds and release • Do once per day
Stretches to Help Your BackLower trunk rotation stretch • Lie on back • Keeping back flat and feet together, rotate knees to one side • Hold for 45-60 seconds • Release. Repeat 2 times • Do once per day
Exercises To Help Your BackAlternate arm-leg extension exercise • Face floor on hands and knees • Raise left arm and right leg. Do not arch neck • Hold for 10 seconds and release • Raise right arm and left leg. Do not arch neck • Hold for 10 seconds and release. Repeat 10-15 times on each side • Do once per day
Exercises To Help Your BackPelvic tilt exercise • Lie on back with knees bent, feet flat on floor and arms at sides. • Flatten small of back against floor. (hips will tilt upward.) • Hold for 10-15 seconds and release. Gradually increase your holding time to 60 seconds • Repeat 2 times • Do once daily
Exercises To Help Your BackCurl-up exercise • Lie on the floor on back. • Keeping arms folded across chest, tilt pelvis to flatten back. Tuck chin into chest. • Tighten abdominal muscles while raising head and shoulders from floor • Hold 10 seconds and release • Repeat 10-15 times. Gradually increase your repetitions. • Do once per day
Exercises To Help Your BackDiagonal curl-up • Lie on back on floor with arms folded across chest and knees bent. • Keeping arms folded, tilt pelvis to flatten back and tuck chin into chest. • Lift head and shoulders from floor while rotating to one side. • Hold to 10 seconds and release • Repeat 10-15 times. Gradually increase your repetitions • Do once per day
Take care of your back • And it will take care of you • Exercise daily • Avoid Heavy Lifting • Get Help with heavy or bulky objects • If you must bend over, do it properly • Avoid twisting at the waist when carrying objects • Always watch where you're going
What About Back Belts?