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Types Of Back Injury And How To Avoid Them

Back injuries are no laughing matter. They can cause serious pain, great discomfort and can, in some cases, make life unbearable. Your back is made up of muscles, bones and ligaments and damage to any of these can cause you severe back problems, making moving about comfortably impossible. Injuries can be caused by just about anything from being in a car accident, at work or in the home.
Injuries to the back are common but many are highly preventable. The following is a guide to practical ways in which you can prevent back injuries around the home and at your place of work by using a safe lifting technique.

Types of Back Injury
There are many types of back injury the most common ones being:
  • Muscles Strains – These commonly occur during physical activity such as sport or lifting and moving heavy objects. This type of injury happens because of too much pressure being applied to a muscle causing it to tear.
  • Fractures – Fractures of the back bone can occur when the back cannot withstand the pressure being applied to it. Fractures can heal on their own, but fractures of the vertebra can be extremely dangerous.
  • Herniated Disc – Otherwise, and rather inaccurately, described as a ‘slipped disc’, a herniated disc is one of the most common back injuries. This happens when a spinal disc ruptures and the gel-like fluid within leaks out. This condition can cause severe pain when the ruptured disc presses against a nerve. As with the other injuries mentioned this tends to occur when too much pressure is put on the back.
It is most commonly the lower back that is injured at work or at home and normally from repetitive actions or from lifting heavy objects.
Prevention and Safe Lifting Techniques
Injuries to the back can happen to anyone of any age. It is important to look after your back as it is the only one you have and has to last you your entire lifetime. How you treat your back can impact greatly on the rest of your life. You may feel okay at the moment but a few years down the line and you may just wish you had taken a little more care to prevent injuring it.
One really easy way to protect your back is by using a safe lifting technique. Never lean over to pick something up as this exerts a lot of pressure on your lower back. It can actually be like picking up something that weighs ten times as much as it actually does on your back.
Before you pick anything up, or move anything assess how heavy it is. If you do not think that you can move it on your own then do not attempt to move it. Wait until someone can help. If you do feel you can move the object by yourself then lift it in the following way:
    1. Get in position – Stand over the object with your feet wide apart. Always have one foot  slightly in front of the other as this will help keep you steady.
    2. Bend your knees – As you lower yourself down, always bend your knees and not your back. Your knees should go out to the sides and you should be in a position to pick up the object.
    3. Get a good grip – Make sure that you hold the object firmly on both sides and that you have a  good enough grip so that it will not slip and pull on your back.
    4. Keep your head up – Resist the urge to look at the object as you stand back up. Keep your head up and smoothly and slowly stand up.
    5.. Remember your centre of gravity – Hold the object at your centre of gravity. This differs depending on the size of the object you are holding but it tends to be around waist height.
    6.. Take Care – Take care when moving the object to where you want it to go. Make sure you can see where you are going and always bend your knees when putting the object back down.
Avoid Back Injury
Avoid Back Injury
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Many back injuries are caused by accidents and poor lifting techniques at work. By using safe lifting techniques you will greatly decrease the risk of injury in the workplace. Nathan Bruton is the manageing director of Lebreton Health & Safety Training and he said – 
Poor lifting techniques attribute the majority of back injuries in the workplace. Effective manual handling training will limit the chances of injury and is essential training for your workforce.
Back injuries are no joke and can have a significant impact on our lives. Following some simple back injury prevention techniques and being aware of various types of back injury and teir causes will greatly improve your chances of avoiding becoming a statistic.

Ross Davies writes about all aspects of employment and work related issues including health and safety in the workplace. He lives in the UK with his wife and two sons and enjoys blogging and social networking.
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