Many of workplace injuries can be minimized, if not prevented by remembering, the simple A-B-C's.
- A - Awareness/Adjustments
- B - Body Mechanics
- C - Care/Conditioning
A - Awareness/Adjustments
Many injuries are due to repetitive movements and fatigue resulting from natural stresses and strains on the body. Posture that is maintained for too long are exposed to cumulative stresses and strains. Poor posture can place these stresses and strains in areas of the body that are weak, resulting in pain and excessive wear.
B - Body Mechanics
Once again, posture is a key in proper body mechanics. Pretend that there is a board in the front and one in the back of your body. In other words, try to keep your back as straight as possible at all times. This is done by remembering the basics of - head up, shoulders back, chest out, stomach and rear-end in and back straight! Poor posture and incorrect body mechanics are two of the leading causes of back and neck pain and injury.
When lifting heavy objects widen your feet, squat from your hips and not your waist. Do not twist especially while bending and tighten your stomach! One's legs are a great deal stronger than one's back. Your abdominals (stomach) attaches to the front of your back, therefore when you pretend that you are about to be punched and still breath - you protect your back because of using your abdominals. Use common sense, use the stronger muscles - use your legs when lifting.
C - Care/Conditioning
Eating, sleeping and exercise are vital when preventing injury and keeping a healthy body. Dietary habits are addressed every day. The basics - fruits, vegetables, protein and low fat help keep the body happy and healthy. Sleep should be approximately 8 hours with good sleeping posture. The neck should be neither bent or extended, it should be gently supported. The legs should also be supported with either one or two pillows. If you think: "I can't sleep like that - I move around too much!", that is OK, the first hour is the most important. The center of the spine (the nucleus) depends solely on absorption from surrounding structures - kind of like a sponge. It absorbs 80% of its nutrition in the first hour of sleep. When the legs are supported, it opens up the spinal segment to allow for maximal absorption.
Also remember to stand up - stretch - and walk around at least once an hour. You will be surprised how easy this is to do and how much better your body will feel when practicing these simple suggestions.
In summary, common sense is the best practice on the job. Remember the A-B-C's and if you have a specific problem or injury, don't suffer in silence. Dr. Pazdel is just a phone call away.