BACK CARE 101: Body Mechanics & Tips For Safe Lifting ACSSSD Physical Therapy Department
Pain and Injuries Back injuries are the most common reason for absenteeism in the general workforce after the common cold. Back pain and other work-related musculoskeletal injuries may be caused by a single traumatic event or cumulative trauma to the spine and related structures.
In the US, back disorders account for over 24% of all occupational injuries and illnesses involving days away from work. • Greater than 1/3 of back injuries among healthcare workers are attributed to handling patients and the frequency with which they are required to manually move patients.
Personal impact: Although some back injuries are short in duration, for some the pain and suffering is long term. For a small percentage of people, it is life long. For employees with long-term disabling musculoskeletal injuries, lifetime earnings may drop significantly. These employees may also suffer a loss of independence and diminished quality of life.
Back Anatomy Your back is also called your vertebral column. It helps support a majority of your body weight and protects your spinal cord. You have 33 bones that make up the vertebral column which are divided into sections.
Cervical Spine: C1-C7 neck Thoracic Spine: T1-T12 middle back Lumbar Spine: L1-L5 low back Sacrum Coccyx Spinal Column
Between each vertebra is a disk which acts as a pad or shock absorber for your spine as you move. Attached to these vertebrae are muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Maintaining good posture is essential for a healthy back.
The basis for good posture is to maintain a neutral spine… A neutral spine has 3 curves: 1. a small hollow at the base of your neck 2. a small roundness at the middle of your back 3. a small hollow at your low back
Posture Left: Incorrect Right: Correct www.spineuniverse.com
Safety First How to perform a safe lift
Wear sensible, supportive shoes that fit securely • Be certain that clothing and jewelry will not interfere with transfers • Know your limits, if you are unsure ask for help
Plan lifts and transfers ahead • to avoid unnecessary stress • Two person lifts may also be done • with a patient lift, a device with a sling and hydraulic arm to lift the patient • and transfer them to a new surface
Keep These Things In Mind: • Always maintain good posture • Bend your knees, Lift with your legs • Ask for help with heavier lifts • Wear sensible shoes • Get regular exercise, stretch, and remain active for a healthy mind, body, and spine!
For Your Viewing Pleasure • Videos are available in the PT department library for further information. You can view taped transfers depicting proper form, and materials for additional tips to maintain safety.
In Conclusion Prepared by ACSSSD Physical Therapy Staff 2010 Questions? When in doubt, ask a member of our staff for assistance with specific children, we are happy to assist you!
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