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  1. SDNB HEALTHY BACKS Prevention and treatment

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Protecting Your Back-Posture

  6. Protecting Your Back-Good Sitting Posture

  7. 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

  8. Protecting Your Back-Posture

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Lifting and Transferring a Person

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.”)

  15. Lifting and Transferring a Person

  16. 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

  17. 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!

  18. 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

  19. Let’s stand up and try the stretches on your handout together!

  20. 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

  21. Strengthening your legs can help to bend at the knees and lift properly! • Wall squats are a great way to do this

  22. See handout with examples of great strengthening exercises for your core!

  23. What do I do if I’m experiencing back pain??????????

  24. 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.

  25. 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 to find a prefer provider. This will help to save you money!

  26. Contact Information Catherine Schaefer-Campion District Physical Therapist T: 789-6590 x2221 Email: AnnahHolzberger District Wellness Coordinator T: 789-6224 Email: