SDNB HEALTHY BACKS Prevention and treatment
Incidence of Back Pain • 80% of individuals will experience low back pain in their lives, 20%-30% at any given time • Fifth most common reason for physician office visits • Usually recurrent and episodes tend to increase in severity
Costs • Lost productivity and income from work • Expensive medical, rehabilitation and surgical costs • “Total incremental direct health care costs attributable to low back pain in the U.S. were estimated at $26.3 billion in 1998” • Disabling pain and limited function • Decreased quality of life
Protecting Your Back-Posture • Change the way you perform activities rather than changing what you do and be aware of your posture • Sitting • Sit with your back supported and your knees lower than your hips • A small pillow against your low back can help maintain good posture • Don’t sit for long periods of time without getting up and moving around • Try not to slouch or bend forward when sitting at a desk or driving
Protecting Your Back-Posture • Standing • Keep a normal curve in your back while standing • Avoid standing with a sway back or a flat back • When standing for a long time, put one foot up on a box or stool • Wear comfortable and supportive footwear to help keep your body in alignment • Sleeping • Use a firm mattress • Sleep on your back or side, place a pillow between your knees to maintain alignment when on your side
Proper Lifting Technique • Prepare your body before lifting the object or person • Widen your stance and move one foot forward • Bend your knees and keep your back straight • Use the strength of your legs, not your back • Keep the load close to you • Avoid turning or twisting you back • Keep these points in mind even when lifting a light object
Lifting and Transferring a Person • THINK about how you are performing the task • If you learn and practice a lift/transfer correctly the first time you are less likely to be injured • Examples of transfers: Chair to/from floor, changing table, desk, toilet, stander • Use a hoyer lift for larger students • Get another person to help when needed
Lifting and Transferring- Prepare • Prepare the Area • Check that area is free of obstacles and you have a clear path • Make sure the landing area is stable and that you have all the materials you need • Double check that brakes are locked on all transfer equipment (wheelchair, stander, gait trainer, etc.) • Move all straps, seatbelts, and foot rests out of the way
Lifting and Transferring- Prepare • Your Body • Widen your stance and move one foot forward • Bend your knees and keep your back straight • Use the strength of your legs, not your back • Keep the load close to you • Avoid turning or twisting you back
Lifting and Transferring- Prepare • Prepare the Student • Tell them where you are going and what you are doing • Have them assist as much as possible • Give them cues (“lean forward and push with your feet, push with your hands, soft body, etc.”)
Lifting and Transferring-Practice • Practice the lifting and transferring techniques correctly until they are automatic patterns • If you are unsure, practice it with a lighter object to see how it feels • Ask a physical or occupational therapist to observe the transfer and give you feedback • Constantly self-monitor and never hesitate to ask for help
Stretching and Strengthening Your Core Having a strong core is one of the key elements in preventing any back injury. The following are some exercise you can perform on a regular basis to ensure your core is in shape!
Stretching…. When stretching, remember the following… • It should always be pain free • Hold each stretch for a count of 20 or 30 seconds • Stretch slowly and do not bounce as this can tear the muscle fibers • Be sure to perform stretches daily or even multiple times per day
Strengthening When strengthening the core, remember the following….. • Perform exercises in a slow and controlled manner • Concentrate on breathing. It’s natural to hold your breath when doing strength exercises. Make sure you maintain a steady breathing pattern • Do 2-3 sets of 8-15 reps for each exercise • Perform core exercises 2-3 days/week
Strengthening your legs can help to bend at the knees and lift properly! • Wall squats are a great way to do this
See handout with examples of great strengthening exercises for your core!
Determine if it is an emergency Identifiers of an emergency: • The pain came on suddenly • The pain is preventing you from walking or standing • The pain is unbearable If this is the case: • Go to the nearest walk-in clinic • If no walk-in clinic is available, go to the nearest emergency room Do not drive yourself in for care. Identify which walk-in clinics and hospitals are covered under your insurance in advance to keep costs at a minimum.
If it is determined that it is not an emergency: • Schedule an appointment with your primary care physician to discuss symptoms and treatment options. If you do not have a physician, find a prefer provider through your insurance company. • If you have United Health Care as your insurance, you can go to www.myuhc.com to find a prefer provider. This will help to save you money!
Contact Information Catherine Schaefer-Campion District Physical Therapist T: 789-6590 x2221 Email: Catherine.Schaefer-Campion@nbexcellence.org AnnahHolzberger District Wellness Coordinator T: 789-6224 Email: Annah.Holzberger@nbexcellence.org