This time it happened while doing yard work – it was a sudden flash of pain in my back and I could hardly stand up. After the initial shock, moving continued to hurt and going from laying down to sitting up was agony.
Who would have thought picking up a bunch of twigs and branches would do it to my back? These things weren’t even that heavy! However, an afternoon of reaching and twisting to prune the trees combined with the bending and lifting to pick up the debris all combined to cause back pain.
The Mayo Clinic says that most people will experience this type of low back pain at least once in their lives and back pain is a leading cause of loss of work.
So, aside from not doing yard work, how can you protect your back and avoid pain? Safe lifting and carrying are paramount to protecting your back. OSHA has prepared a seven page document on safe lifting and carrying techniques that can be found here and on in our Resources Section. The Mayo Clinic also provides tips on preventing back pain.
What about after you’ve experienced back pain? The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons has a helpful Low Back Pain Exercise Guide to help through all stages of recovery.
Fortunately I’ve done this before so knew the steps to take to reduce the inflammation and pain so I’m well on the road to recovery. However, in a couple of years I will probably let down my guard and do it again. . .