BACK EXERCISES. To Promote a Healthy Back

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1 BACK EXERCISES To Promote a Healthy Back Knee-to-chest stretch Lower back rotational stretch Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor (A). Using both hands, pull up one knee and press it to your chest (B). Hold for 15 to 30 seconds. Return to the starting position (A) and repeat with the opposite leg (C). Return to the starting position and then repeat with both legs at the same time (D). Repeat each stretch two to three times preferably once in the morning and once at night. Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor (A). Keeping your shoulders firmly on the floor, roll your bent knees to one side (B). Hold for five to 10 seconds. Return to the starting position (C). Repeat on the opposite side (D). Repeat each stretch two to three times preferably once in the morning and once at night.

2 Lower back flexibility exercise Cat stretch Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor (A). Arch your back so that your pubic bone feels like it's pointing toward your feet (B). Hold for five seconds, then relax. Flatten your back, pulling your bellybutton toward the floor so that your pubic bone feels like it's pointing toward your head (C). Hold for five seconds, then relax. Repeat. Start with five repetitions each day and gradually work up to 30. Position yourself on your hands and knees (A). Slowly let your back and abdomen sag toward the floor (B). Then slowly arch your back, as if you're pulling your abdomen up toward the ceiling (C). Return to the starting position (A). Repeat three to five times, twice a day.

3 Bridge exercise Seated lower back rotational stretch Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor (A). Keeping your shoulders and head relaxed on the floor, tighten your abdominal and gluteal muscles. Then raise your hips to form a straight line from your knees to your shoulders (B). Try to hold the position long enough to complete three deep breaths. Return to the starting position (C). Repeat. Start with five repetitions each day and gradually work up to 30. Sit on an armless chair or a stool. Cross your right leg over your left leg. Bracing your left elbow against the outside of your right knee, twist and stretch to the side (A). Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat on the opposite side (B). Repeat this stretch three to five times on each side, twice a day.

4 Shoulder blade squeeze Sit on an armless chair or a stool (A). Keeping your chin tucked in and your chest high, pull your shoulder blades together (B). Hold for five seconds, then relax. Repeat three to five times, twice a day.

5 OVERVIEW OF BACK SAFETY Structure of the Back: The back is made up of many components. The primary components are: A. Spine This is the part of the back that supports the trunk and head. It protects the spinal cord as well as giving flexibility to the body. Vertebrae are small bone that form the spine. They are connected together by discs which act like shock absorbers. B. Spinal Cord With the brain, the spinal cord makes up the central nervous system. There are 31 pairs of nerves that extend out of the spinal cord and into the body. C. Muscles There are approximately 400 muscles that help stabilize the spine and help with proper posture. More than 1000 tendons connect these muscles to the spine. Common back problem: There are several injuries that can occur to the back. Injuries are often the result of years of neglect until the back becomes weak then any sudden movement or improper lifting technique can cause injury. Back pain can last a few days or even several years. Some back injuries include: A. Strains- Caused by over stretching, bending and lifting incorrectly, slouching and carrying extra body weight. Strains come from ligaments in the back that are continually misused by poor posture, unused muscle or being overweight Repeated or over strain can cause a herniated disc or slipped disc. This when the jelly-like fluid in the disc leaks and puts pressure on the nerves. The loss of fluid in the disc then allows the vertebrae to rub against each other. B. Over Flexion bending over too far which causes pressure on the discs resulting in pain and stiffness. C. Sprains caused by sudden movements or twisting. Sprains are usually ligament injuries because the muscles don t have time to react. Such injuries are usually the result of accidents or falls D. Overextension arching backwards too far and putting all the weight of the load on the facets between the vertebrae. E. Ruptured disc the disc is torn open and the jelly-like substance pours out. F. Pinched nerve problems with the alignment of the spine or a growth on the vertebrae can cause a pinched nerve that can send pain down the legs or causes numbness, tingling or pain in the arms, hand or fingers. G. Muscle spasms when the muscle receives too many impulses from the nerves causing it to contract beyond capacity. \\woodland\vol1\data\training\safety blitz\back safety\overview of back safety.docx

6 Proper Lifting To minimize the possibility of back injury, employees need to practice safe and correct lifting techniques. The following techniques should be utilized when lifting: A. Plan ahead B. Bend at the knees and keep the back straight C. Keep feet shoulder width apart D. Tighten the abdominal muscles E. Life the object close to the body F. Lift with the legs The best lifting techniques don t always work when lifting a person. Why? Clients can fall, slip or jerk when you least expect it. Clients may be confused, scared or uncooperative, making it difficult for them to follow directions A combative Client may be difficult to hold in the proper position for lifting and transferring. Equipment and furniture gets in the way. Confined spaces may not allow you to always stand with your legs apart. Not everyone has the strength in their legs to lift from their legs. Many lifting techniques require two people. Often you are alone. Lifting a resident with another person who is taller or shorter can be physically stressful. Equipment for lifting and moving patients A. Gait belts B. Wheelchairs C. Hoyer lifts D. Sit to stand type of lifts E. Slider sheet F. Electric Bed at proper height Do not use any of this type of equipment until you are properly trained Posture Good posture is important for a healthy back. When sitting or standing for long periods of time, posture is important for a healthy back. It is important to learn the correct way to sit and stand things to do to support the back while sitting or the standing and exercises to perform while sitting and standing. A. When sitting, keep keens at a 90 degree angle and feet flat on the floor. Slide back in the chair and sit up straight. Putting a pillow behind the lower back will help provide holding for 5-10 seconds. Occasionally, get up and walk around if sitting for prolonged periods. \\woodland\vol1\data\training\safety blitz\back safety\overview of back safety.docx

7 B. Make sure when standing, to not slouch with the back bent. Keep the back straight, shifting weight from leg to leg every few seconds. Hold shoulders slightly back and deep chin, abdomen and buttocks tucked in. Standing puts less stress on the back than sitting. Shift positions frequently. Raise one foot on a stool or step when standing stationary for long periods of time. Maintaining a Healthy Back Preventing back injuries requires proper lifting, good posture, exercise and proper diet. The back deteriorates with age and it is important to do everything possible to keep the back healthy. Performing certain exercises will strengthen the back, stomach muscles and leg muscles in increasing the chances of maintaining a healthy back for many years. A. Exercising on a daily basis will strengthen the back and increase flexibility. Walking is the number one form of exercise that will maintain back strength (See attached form that describes and demonstrates 4 back stretches that will maintain flexibility and strength if done on a weekly basis. B. Diet also affects the back. Maintaining proper weight reduces stress to the back. Choose foods that are low in sugar and fat and high in fiber. C. Listen to your body. Pay attention to those aches and pains. \\woodland\vol1\data\training\safety blitz\back safety\overview of back safety.docx

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