Move Safely

Move Safely

Be careful when you move, especially bending and twisting. Everyday motions -- lifting, reaching, and even standing up -- can cause back injury and pain if done incorrectly. Make sure you move in ways that minimize risk to your back.

Conditions: Back pain

Symptoms: Pain, weakness, stiffness, aching, burning, muscle pain when standing, pain with movement, lower back pain, upper back pain, buttock numbness, pinched nerve, difficulty standing up, difficulty sitting down, symptoms worse in evening, symptoms worse in AM, aching, back pain, pain worse in AM, posture problems, difficulty standing, stooped posture, difficulty sleeping, symptoms worse in AM, symptoms worse in evening, unrefreshing sleep, aching, pain when standing, pain with movement

Triggers:

Treatments:

Categories:  Treatment

Duration

7

Safe Transitions

Avoid bending at the waist and twisting at the same time.

To get out of bed:

* Roll onto your side.

* Bend both knees.

* Push yourself up with your hands while swinging your legs gently over the side of the bed.

* With your chest over your thighs, stand up.

To get out of a chair:

* Scoot to the seat edge.

* Put feet directly under you.

* With chest over your thighs, stand up.

To get out of the car:

* Pivot on your seat.

* Swing both legs out.

* With both feet on the ground, stand up.

Prompt:  Smooth move?

CTA:  Get from here to there correctly.

Conditions: back pain

Symptoms: pain, sharp pain, numbness, tingling, weakness, stiffness, aching, burning, muscle pain, pain when standing, pain with movement, lower back pain, upper back pain, pinched nerve, difficulty sitting down, difficulty standing, symptoms worse in evening, back pain

Triggers: twisting, overdoing it, sitting too long, standing too long, injury, workplace injury, anxiety, stress, carrying or lifting, craning neck, poor posture

Treatments: occupational therapy

Categories: Treatment

Lifting Safely

Keep these techniques in mind when you need to lift something:

* Get close to the object.

* Place your feet shoulder-width apart for stability.

* Bend like you are sitting down.

* Tighten your stomach muscles and buttocks.

* Use your entire body, including legs, torso and arms.

* Keep the weight close to your body.

Don't be afraid to ask for help with heavy or bulky things.

Prompt:  Heave ho!

CTA:   Plan ahead before picking up.

Conditions: back pain

Symptoms: pain, sharp pain, numbness, tingling, difficulty sleeping, weakness, stiffness, aching, burning, muscle pain, pain when standing, pain with movement, lower back pain, upper back pain, pinched nerve, difficulty sitting down, difficulty standing, symptoms worse in evening, back pain

Triggers: exercising, heavy lifting, pushing or pulling, repetitive motions, twisting, overdoing it, sitting too long, standing too long, using machinery, vibration, injury, workplace injury, anxiety, stress, gardening,  carrying or lifting, holding a child, housework, twisting, overuse,

Treatments: occupational therapy

Categories: Treatment

Pivot and Push

To move something you're holding, lead with your feet, not your shoulders. Point your feet in the direction you want to go, then let your hips and torso (with the weight) follow.

To move something without lifting it, keep the object directly in front to limit rotation of your back.  Pushing is usually recommended over pulling, but both can increase stress to your back especially if done incorrectly.  If you have a history of back pain, ask for help.

Prompt:  Push or pivot.

CTA: Remember the P's to prevent strain.

Conditions: back pain

Symptoms: Pain, weakness, stiffness, aching, burning, muscle pain, pain when standing, pain with movement, lower back pain, upper back pain,  buttock numbness, sharp pain, numbness, tingling, pinched nerve, difficulty sitting down, difficulty standing, symptoms worse in evening, back pain

Triggers: twisting, overdoing it, sitting too long, standing too long, injury, workplace injury, anxiety, stress, carrying or lifting, craning neck, poor posture

Treatments:  occupational therapy

Categories: treatment

Shelf Life

If you're going to put something on a shelf after you've lifted it, there are a few additional things to remember to protect your back:

* Don't lift heavy objects above your chest. Use a sturdy step stool to reach shelves at your shoulders or above.

* Don't lean forward.

* Keep your stomach muscles tight.

* Keep your elbows at your side.

* Set the item on the shelf, and then push it into place.

* Don't extend your arms all the way while holding it.

Prompt: Shelf life.

CTA: Be careful when putting items away.

Conditions: back pain

Symptoms: pain, sharp pain, numbness, tingling, difficulty sleeping, weakness, stiffness, aching, burning, muscle pain, pain when standing, pain with movement, lower back pain, upper back pain, pinched nerve, difficulty sitting down, difficulty standing, symptoms worse in evening, back pain

Triggers: exercising, heavy lifting, pushing or pulling repetitive motions, twisting, overdoing it, using machinery, injury, workplace injury, anxiety, stress, gardening,  carrying or lifting, housework, twisting, overuse,

Treatments: occupational therapy

Categories: Treatment

Reaching Down

Sometimes it's not about the weight hurting your back, but rather the distance -- for example, picking up a piece of paper off the floor. Here's a low-strain way to reach down:

* Stand above the item with one foot closer to the object.

* Bend the closer knee first as you lean over.

* Hold on to a piece of furniture to help steady yourself.

Prompt:  Little things.

CTA:   Support yourself when bending over.

Conditions: back pain

Symptoms: pain, sharp pain, numbness, tingling, weakness, stiffness, aching, burning, muscle pain, pain when standing, pain with movement, lower back pain, upper back pain, pinched nerve, difficulty sitting down, difficulty standing, symptoms worse in evening, back pain

Triggers: exercising, heavy lifting, pushing or pulling repetitive motions, twisting, overdoing it, using machinery, injury, workplace injury, anxiety, stress, gardening,  carrying or lifting, housework, twisting, overuse,

Treatments: occupational therapy

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Ross Brakeville, DPT on January 27, 2019

Sources

SOURCES:

Cleveland Clinic: "Posture for a Healthy Back."

University of Missouri-Columbia: "Mechanical Low Back Pain."

North American Spine Society. Back Pain Basics, 2007.

National Institute of Neurological Disorder and Stroke: "Low Back Pain Fact Sheet."

American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons: "Preventing Back Pain at Work and at Home."

University Health Services, Tang Center, University of California-Berkeley: "Safe Lifting Tips."

University of Maryland Medical Center: "Back pain and sciatica - Prevention and Self-Care."

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