People often engage in various strenuous activities that cause undue stress to the spine. There are several postures or movements that can increase stress on the lower back, hips, and sacroiliac joints. Here are the top three stressful positions, activities, or movements to avoid.
Lifting lightweight or medium weight objects: Picking up smaller, lightweight objects can be equally as risky on your lower back as picking up more substantial weight. This is because you may fail to consider maintaining proper posture when lifting lightweight objects.
In other words, you may use good body mechanics when lifting a large television or box from a top-shelf but forget to use good posture habits picking up a pen or toys off the floor. Many patients report back conditions from doing smaller, less stressful activities of daily living. No job is too small to forget about good posture and body mechanics.
Twisting while bending forward: Bending forward to lift an object or perform a daily task is stressful enough on your lower back. However, when you add a twisting motion while bending over it places a greater amount of stress and trauma on the vertebral discs in the lumbar spine.
Patients will often flare up an existing back problem when they twist and reach over to one side while standing up from a bent position. The best rule of thumb is to first stand up completely, then turn your feet along with your body versus twisting at the lower back.
You may be inclined to twist when taking things out of the oven and placing them onto a side counter, or when picking up a laundry basket from the floor and twisting to place it up onto the washer. It may take you an extra second or two to move your feet versus twisting your lumbar spine, but it will be well worth the effort in the long run.
Bending forward slightly for prolonged periods: You may already be aware of the potential risks of bending over completely to lift something, but you may not have considered that holding a sustained posture in a slightly bent forward position may be equally as stressful to your lower back.
When you bend forward slightly, while washing dishes or brushing your teeth, for example, significant pressure builds up in the lumbar spine. This can cause great stress to the vertebral discs, facet joints, and spinal nerves.
A viable solution to reduce stress to your lower back when having to bend forward slightly is to prop your knees against something, such as a kitchen cabinet or vanity. Propping your knees will help to more evenly distribute the stress of leaning forward from your lower spine to your legs.
A chiropractic adjustment to your spine can help reduce the stress and strain you may experience from the various activities you encounter. Regular adjustments help prevent major flare-ups of lower back pain. If it has been a while since you’ve been in for a chiropractic checkup, we encourage you to give us a call and have your alignment checked.
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