Body Mechanics -and why they are so important

Do you have back or neck pain? So many of us struggle with chronic back and neck pain which can be very frustrating and debilitating. I have suffered from chronic back pain for years and if there is one thing I have learned, it is the importance of using proper body mechanics with daily activities.

What are body mechanics? The term body mechanics refers to the way that you move and position your body when doing everyday things like sitting, lifting, bending, etc. Using poor body mechanics can lead to extra stress, wear, and tear on your spine, and cause or aggravate disc issues – a common source of back and neck pain.

There are many aspects to physical therapy -including hands-on manual therapy, pain relief techniques, specific strengthening, and education. Putting them all together is what makes physical therapy a key treatment for back and neck pain.

One of those important aspects of physical therapy treatment, is the education that the clinicians can provide you in proper body mechanics to avoid aggravation and irritation of back pain. This type of knowledge and training can not only help you while you are going through physical therapy, but it will also help you for years and years to come.

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There have been many times that I find myself sitting hunched over on the couch watching T.V. Later I end up paying for it with pain. If I remember to use a lumbar pillow behind my lower back when sitting on the couch it makes a huge difference. In fact, just knowing to keep my back straight and use my legs when lifting and bending keeps me from major pain.

Sometimes you may not even realize that you are doing things in a way that can irritate your back, and that there are alternate ways to move and still do what you want to do without pain.
If you have chronic back or neck pain, physical therapy could be a life changer. Come in and receive treatment to help alleviate your pain -and an education that will last a lifetime.

To sum up a few basic tips for using proper body mechanics:

Sitting:

  • Sit with your back straight and use a small pillow behind your lower back.
  • Get up and move every so often if sitting for long periods.

Lifting:

  • Always keep your back straight.
  • Bend with your hips and knees.
  • Hold the object close and use your leg and arm muscles.

 

These are just a few basic tips. Our clinicians will be able to provide more specific body mechanics education based on your condition and lifestyle. Come find out for yourself!

– Katie, PTA

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