Have you ever wondered how patients most often injure their backs? Is it helping a friend move a heavy couch? Is it during exercise? Falling down stairs?
The most common answer from patients when asked, “How did this happen?” is “I wasn’t doing anything! I just bent down to pick up my socks and my back totally seized up!”
While back injuries certainly do happen as a result of traumatic activities, it’s just not the most common. If the injury is from heavy lifting, it’s consistent that you’ll hear that someone did the BLT (a Bending Lifting Twisting) movement.
For some people, doing that movement is an every day event, as it’s part of their job. It’s in those instances that they really need to make sure that they are not performing the movement one-sided, like always twisting to the same side.
That feeling of “I wasn’t doing anything” is due to a build up of your daily activities. Your daily activities may be no big deal as a single event, but when repeated daily over and over again… they start to add up.
Just like sitting at your computer for five minutes and typing out an e-mail won’t likely cause any negative effect, sitting at a computer for eight hours per day, five days per week will start to add up — particularly if being done with bad posture or a poor work station set up.
In avoiding back injuries, maintaining good muscle tone and keeping your activities balanced (not all one-sided or too much in the front) is key. When it feels like you didn’t do anything to cause the problem, it’s more likely that it’s from a build up of what you have been doing or not doing.
When we do our initial consultation in our office, you’ll find that we can be very focused on your daily activities. We do this to get a better picture of what you put your spine through each day so that we can help you modify your activities (if needed) or give you some appropriate exercises to help you restore your spinal balance.
Read more about back injuries from another point of view by clicking here.