Back Safety

YOUR BACK / THE SPINE

Purpose
  • Your back maintains you in a stable upright position
  • Your back helps you to be mobile

Why is your back vulnerable to injury?
  • We continually place constant stress on it
  • Because we are weight bearing
  • We are constantly changing our posture

This is why you must use your back properly and keep your spine strong and flexible.

The working parts of the spine
  • Vertebrae (the bones)
  • Discs (the cushions that separate the bones)
  • Joints (the pivot areas)
  • Ligaments (they hold the spine together)
  • Muscles (provide the movement)
  • Nerves (the monitoring system)
LIFTING
Before you lift:
  • Check the object
  • Is the load packed right?
  • Is the load easy to grip?
  • Is the load easy to reach?
  • Test the weight of the object
  • Clear a pathway
  • Stretch before you lift
  • Ask for help if needed
RISK FACTORS FOR BACK PAIN OR INJURY
Factors we have no control over:
  • Heredity
  • Structure and anatomy
  • Age
  • Time of Day
  • Height
Factors we have some control over:
  • Occupation
  • Level of fitness
  • Factors we have the most control over:
  • Smoking
  • Nutrition
  • Weight
  • Lifestyle (active or sedentary)
  • Stress/anxiety
  • Posture
  • Proper body mechanics and lifting techniques


ANATOMY OF THE SPINE

A Healthy back is a flexible, strong, and pain-free. Its chief functions are to support your upper body, protect your spinal cord, allow flexibility, and provide a point of attachment for your muscles and ligaments. The spine is composed of many bones (vertebrae) which form three curves in the back to provide our backs with flexibility and shock absorption.

Cervical Region: The neck is made up of 7 vertebrae which has an inward curve or cervical lordosis.

Thoracic Region: the mid-back is made up of 12 vertebrae with 12 ribs attached. This region has an outward curve or Thoracic kyphosis.

Lumbar Region: The low back is made up of 5 vertebrae and has an inward curve or lumbar lordosis.

Sacrum: The sacrum is a solid mass of bone or 5 fused vertebrae.

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Funding for this program provided by the Department of Health and Human Services