Stretches to Prevent Lower Back Injuries and Disorders

Back disorders are one of the leading causes of disability

construction, back injury, safety

Back disorders gradually develop when microtrauma of the back accumulates from repetitive damaging activity over a period of time. These type of disorders develop from overexerting the capability of your muscles, tendons, and discs in the back. Lower back stretches can truly help to prevent injuries and keep you on the job.

OSHA states that a combination of the following can also cause these disorders:

  • Reaching while lifting
  • Poor posture
  • Staying in one position for too long
  • Bad body mechanics
  • Repetitive lifting of awkward items and equipment
  • Twisting while lifting
  • Bending while lifting
  • Maintaining bent postures
  • Heavy lifting
  • Poor footing or constrained posture
  • Lifting with forceful movement.
  • Vibration, such as with lift truck drivers, delivery drivers, etc.

According to OSHA, back disorders are one of the leading causes of disability for people in their working years and afflict over 600,000 employees each year. OSHA says that the frequency and economic impact of back injuries and disorders on the workforce are expected to increase over the next several decades as the average age of the workforce increases and medical costs go up.

Here is a list of 5 easy lower back stretches and workouts to increase back strength and prevent injury:

  1. Spine Strengthening Stretch
    1. Lie on your stomach with legs and arms straight and extended. Bring your elbows to your sides and your hands under your shoulders. Gently press into your hands as you slowly lift your chest off the floor. Hold this stretch for 5-10 seconds and repeat the stretch 3 times. lower back stretch, stretching, back stretches
  2. Knees-to-chest Stretch
    1. Lie on your back with your legs extended. As you exhale, bring the right knee towards the chest. As you exhale, take the right knee across the chest and hold for 5-10 seconds. Release, extending both legs. Repeat the stretch 3-5 times on each side. lower back stretch, injury prevention, safety, lower back, stretching, physical therapy, stretches
  3. Wall Stretch
    1. Lean against a wall. Slowly slide down the wall, keeping your knees from extending over your toes. Hold the squat position for 5-10 seconds. Release to standing, repeat 3-5 times. lower back stretch, back injury, back stretch
  4. Standing Back Arch Exercise
    1. Start by standing up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart. Put the palms of your hands on your lower back. Take a few slow, deep breaths to relax. Bend your upper body backward, keeping your knees straight. Support your back with your hands. Hold for five seconds. Return slowly to your starting position. Repeat 5 times.
  5. Spine and Posture Exercise
    1. Lie on your back, with your legs bent 90 degrees at the knee, and your feet off the floor. Pull your belly button towards the spine and hold this position for 10 seconds at the end and breathe throughout. Repeat 5 times.

Nova Medical Centers provides the highest level of healthcare to patients suffering from musculoskeletal injuries. Maintaining proper posture and strengthening muscles in the back and supporting muscles will help to prevent injuries and back disorders.

Here is a link to a fun, hands-on exercise that you can use with your employees to educate them about back disorders and how to prevent them: https://www.osha.gov/dte/grant_materials/fy09/sh-19503-09/back_injury_instructor_guide.pdf

To learn about the Most Common Workplace Injuries and How to Prevent Them, check out our article: https://n-o-v-a.com/blog/most-common-workplace-injuries-how-to-prevent-them/

Written by: Jessica Hurd

Sources:

https://www.osha.gov/dts/osta/otm/otm_vii/otm_vii_1.html

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