Back Pain: Don’t Twist and Shout

The experts know what causes backaches and you probably have heard it all before but we all need to hear it again and again and again for it to sink in.


The experts know what causes backaches and you probably have heard it all before but we all need to hear it again and again and again for it to sink in.  Frequent bending and lifting are the main culprits, but twisting makes it worse.

So, how can we prevent future backaches?  Pay attention to your body movements for just one day and count how many times you bend over or bend forward to reach for something, lift objects from the floor and twist.  It takes just one wrong movement and you’ll find yourself on the ground in pain.  Still, you can lessen your chances of trouble by taking a few simple steps.

Here is what the US Department of Labor and health experts advise to take better care of your back:

  • If you sit most of the day at work, be sure to move around regularly and take frequent breaks to stretch your back and legs.
  • Watch your posture while sitting and while standing.  Keep the things you use most often on your desk or at your workspace closest to you to avoid frequent reaching and twisting.  When standing, move your feet to turn and reach instead of planting and twisting for it.
  • Minimize bending over. 
  • Don’t reach too far.  If something is out of reach don’t stretch for it; move closer or get a stool if it is too high.
  • If you stand for long periods, use a stool to rest one foot, switching feet frequently. You should also engage your abdominal muscles by pulling your belly button toward your spine to support your back.
  • Exercise regularly. No brainer.
  • Keep your weight under control.  Extra pounds greatly increases the forces on your back, especially when combined with bending and twisting.
  • When taking road trips, stop hourly to stretch.  Also consider a back support in the car and at the office.
  • When lifting heavy objects from the floor, spread your feet shoulder-width apart, bend your knees, tighten abdominal muscles, squat and lift with your legs, keeping object as close to your body as possible.
  • To lift a very light object, it is best to lean over while extending out one leg behind you to equal out the forces on the spine.   


Please don't let your symptoms manifest. It is easier to prevent a problem than to cure it. With back pain being the number one on the list of disabling injuries, I suggest you start taking these pointers seriously, or you might be my next patient!


At Conshohocken Physical Therapy, our mission is to make a positive impact, both personally and therapeutically, on every person who enters our office. We will improve the quality of your life with a friendly, evidence-based and innovative approach.

You will experience pain relief, improved motion and a greater quality of life. You will be treated by a Doctor of Physical Therapy who has the most specialized training to help you get back in motion. You will get direct attention from your Physical Therapist for at least 30 minutes during every visit.

Learn more about Conshohocken Physical Therapy by visiting us online at www.conshypt.com.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.


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