Monday, October 22, 2012

Protecting Your Back When Moving Objects

At Sea Spine Florida Orthopedic Institute we treat numerous patients that suffer from different types of back problems. One of the most common reasons for their pain comes from incorrectly lifting and moving heavy objects.

No matter how hard one tries, avoiding certain situations that may be hazardous for your back is difficult. Sometimes you have to lift heavy objects. As the weight of the object increases, so does the risk of injuring your back.

However, the actual stress on your back is also related to the position of your body when you lift an object. Understanding how body positioning affects your actions can decrease your chance of a back strain or injury.

Here's a few safety tips from Sea Spine Orthopedic Institute to keep in mind:
Think before you lift

Before you begin, assess the situation. Take a look at what needs to be moved and make sure that you are capable of lifting the object. A person can lift only a certain amount of weight. Even if you are extremely strong lifting heavy objects can be hazardous. When lifting an unfamiliar object test its weight by pushing it with your foot, this usually is enough to give you an idea. Before lifting anything, warm up, stretch your legs and back.
Make sure you have enough room to safely lift the object. If not make space to avoid obstacles. Look around before you lift, and look around as you carry. Make sure you can see where you are walking. Know where you are going to put the object down and avoid walking on slippery, uneven surfaces while carrying heavy items.

The right Technique

When lifting an object, position yourself over it, with your feet about shoulder-width apart. If possible place the object between your legs, so that you don't have to reach out for it. Squat down, keeping your head up, shoulders back, and spine erect. The bending should come only from your hips and knees. Get a strong grip on the object and keep it close to your body. Slowly straighten your knees and back while you stand up and use your legs to lift. Your leg muscles are the strongest muscles in your body they can handle burden better than your back can.
Walk with the item without twisting your body. Stand straight and take small steps. Remember that what goes up must come down, so set the object down using the same technique you used to lift it.

Take small breaks between lifts if you are moving several objects.
Moving heavy objects on a cart is much easier than carrying them, but even with a cart, you can still hurt your back if you're not careful. It is safer to push an object than pull it. When you push, you use your weight, the strength of your legs and your back to move the object. When you pull, the tendency is to rely solely on your back in a poor position, increasing the risk of a strain. If you can use a dolly or a forklift to avoid any stress go right ahead.

Team Work

If you can, get help before lifting a heavy object. Lifting and moving an object in unison will lower the risk of injury for the individuals involved. Assign one person the responsibility of saying "lift" so there is no confusion. Lift at the same time and have someone help you lead the way to avoid running into someone or something.
It is easy to keep lower back problems away and if you or anyone you know is experiencing problems caused from lifting heavy objects, please contact one of our many offices to set up an appointment.  Our professional team of nurses and surgeons would be more than happy to help you get back to a healthy lifestyle. 

If you're looking for qualified and experienced high-rated Florida orthopedic surgeons, contact SeaSpine Orthopedic Institute today at    
( or call  866-816-ORTHO.

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Monday, October 15, 2012

The Benefits of Stretching

As you age, your muscles tighten and the range of motion in your joints diminishes. This can limit your active lifestyle or make normal day-to-day activities harder. People notice that tasks that were simple before, now become extremely difficult.

Florida orthopedic specialists,  Sea Spine Orthopedic Institute say that stretching is just about the simplest of all physical activities. Children, teenagers, adults and senior citizens can improve their body’s health by stretching.

“Stretching is one element of fitness that is often neglected until pain or discomfort set in, yet a small investment of time every day can lead to improved flexibility and greater performance in all aspects of life. Says Dr. Griffes Author of Stretching for Life Today's sedentary lifestyle leads to lack of movement, which in turn, leads to adaptive shortening of your muscles. This muscle shortening can influence your balance and coordination, along with strength and agility. Daily or nightly stretching of muscles helps alleviate muscular aches and pains and reduces the risk of injury. Stretching different muscle groups throughout the day helps keep you relaxed and alert. Consider adding stretching into your daily diet of health and fitness”. The benefits of stretching for your wellbeing include:

Increases Flexibility
Flexibility is the point in which an individual’s muscle will lengthen to. Lack of flexibility makes your movement slower and less fluid.  Lack of flexibility makes you more susceptible to muscle strains, and other soft tissue injuries. Stretching can avoid this.

Balance and Coordination.
The increased flexibility that occurs from adequate stretching improves balance and coordination. Improved balance and coordination lowers your risk for falls,  better agility and quicker reflexes.

Better circulation
Stretching increases blood flow to your muscles. Blood flowing to your muscles brings nutrition and gets rid of unwanted byproducts from the muscle tissue. Better circulation can help shorten recovery time,  if you've had muscle injuries.

Lower Cholesterol
Prolonged stretching exercises will help reduce the cholesterol in your body. Of course this must be supplemented  with a healthy diet. This  could prevent and even setback the clotting of the arteries, allowing you to avoid heart problems.

Improving Posture
Poor posture, which has developed over time, can be attributed to muscle imbalances. A good example is, people who hunch over a computer for long periods of time tend to shorten the chest muscles. Stretching these muscles can help to improve posture. Stretching is also beneficial in reducing lower back pain and future injuries.

Stress relief
Muscle tightness is often linked to stress. Our body tends to tighten up when stressed. Stretching relaxes these muscles. A good example of this is the neck muscles.

Reduces Fatigue
When muscles are tight one becomes tired more quickly. This fatigue decreases mental and physical performance. Stretching can help with this. You may have notice that if you have been sitting in a particular position for a long time, you stretch unconsciously, this is the body fighting fatigue.

Audrey Phillips Green, fitness professional says I must confess that stretching is not my favorite thing to do. I would rather perform an intense cardio routine than stretching. Do I skip stretching due to the fact that I do not enjoy it? Of course not, and I will give you the reasons why. Stretching increases the body’s range of motion; therefore a person’s athletic performance is increased. Moreover, the risk of injury is greatly reduced when one incorporates stretching into their daily routine. During a stretch, the muscle fibers are lengthened which creates greater ease of movement; thereby, improving coordination and posture and decreasing muscle soreness and lower back pain. Not only is stretching awesome for your muscles; it has been proven to reduce stress and anxiety. The perfect example I can give is my dog. The first thing he does when he wakes up in the morning is stretch, and he lives a totally carefree life. So, get to stretching people and enjoy your life!

If you have an injury or any type of recurring soreness see a doctor or back professional quickly. Stretching is not intended to cure serious problems. If you have pain of a repetitive strain injury, some damage has already been done.

If you're looking for professional and experienced high-rated Florida orthopedic surgeons, contact Sea Spine Orthopedic Institute today at or call  866-816-ORTHO.

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