5 Tips to Protect Your Back

Dr. Kristina Fruechtl Blog

It’s the end of July, and there’s still a lot of summertime left to be enjoyed outside being active in the warmth before the school year starts and the weather changes to beautiful fall.  As you continue to be active, do it in a way that prevents injuries by following these tips as best as you can.

 

1. Bend with the knees, not at your hips or back. You’ve heard it before and a reminder never hurts. This involves keeping the back relatively straight while squatting down with the knees. Use the power of your glutes, core muscles and legs to lift the weight upward.

2. When lifting, hold objects as close to your body as possible and avoid twisting at your back/ hips. Instead turn your body with your feet. Twisting motions of the spine, especially with lifting, place excessive loads of stress on the spinal discs and may lead to injury.

3. Practice Planks. The plank is a great universal core exercises, but it takes concentration and practice to get it right and continue to do it right. It’s worth enlisting the help of a professional to learn to do them correctly.  Ask a personal trainer, certified exercise class instructor, or health care provider with some exercise education how to do them right. You would also find some videos on YouTube, but it’s often best to learn a physical exercise with a live person to help you make minor corrections if you are doing something that could cause more harm than benefit.

4. Stretch Regularly. Take the time to learn how to stretch properly and do it consistently.

5. Drink plenty of water.  Fresh, clean water hydrates the soft tissues and helps all cell processes run smoothly, including giving your body energy and preventing fatigue. This is important because when the body is fatigued, movements are often compromised and attention becomes less focused, leading to higher risk of physical injury.

We’d like to know, what are some of your favorite summertime activities and how do you protect your back?