House Call: Preventing Back Injuries — Exercises to Strengthen the Back

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In order to prevent back injury, one must understand and practice proper body mechanics, which refers to the way we move during everyday activities. 

It is important to maintain a neutral spine while performing activities, such as lifting, and focus on maintaining correct posture while sitting and moving. 

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Practicing good body mechanics helps to protect our back and use the body in a safe manner.  By strengthening the core, you are supporting proper body mechanics. 

The body’s core consists of the area between the pelvic floor (bottom of core) and the diaphragm (top of the core), with the transverse abdominis muscle being the most integral part for back support.  The stronger the body’s core, the more support the back and spine receive. 

If exercises to strengthen the core are not done correctly, they may do more harm than good.  Therefore, it is important to learn proper techniques to ensure safety and achieve the most benefit from your exercise. 

Common core strengthening exercises, such as crunches/sit-ups and planks, are often performed with the wrong technique.  But once educated on proper positioning, doing these exercises on a daily basis can significantly help prevent back injury. 

Cone Health Outpatient Rehabilitation Centers have an exceptional team of physical therapists and related healthcare providers dedicated to educating patients on back injury prevention through proper body mechanics and core strengthening exercises.

Spokesperson Background:

Jennifer Paa is a licensed physical therapist at the Church St. location of Cone Health Outpatient Rehabilitation Center.  Jennifer is also a certified Pilates instructor and massage therapist.  She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise and Nutrition Science from the University of Buffalo, and earned her Master's degree in Physical Therapy from Winston-Salem State University in 2007.