Your Guide to Heavy Lifting
Thu, 9/23/2010 2:11 PM
Well, we have sold our house and began moving into an apartment. I have been watching the movers move our furniture and the physical therapist in me has begun teaching those who lift-for-a-living proper body mechanics because I saw many back injuries in the making and this job is their living. So, I want to share these same proper body mechanics with you because it is so important to protect your back and use the proper technique and body structures to lift so you don't injure yourself.
First, it is important to pay attention to your spine and posture when lifting. A neutral spine must be maintained with lifting to prevent the injury. A neutral spine has 3 normal curves- 1. neck 2. middle of back, and 3. lower back. To practice maintaining a neutral spine take a cane or dowel rod and place the stick down your spine. The top end must stay in contact with the back of your head and the bottom end should rest at your tailbone area. Holding the stick against your back, bend at the hips forward. Now begin to bend your knees and squat as if you are sitting down. Your knees should not pass your toes. Your bottom should be sticking out behind you. So..1. Maintain neutral spine, 2. bend at hips 3. squat by bending knees and then lift.
Lifting tips to prevent injury
I hope these tips help you protect yourself when lifting or carrying items so you do not experience the pain from a back injury.
Dawn Caldwell is a Physical Therapist in Memphis, Tennessee with Methodist Healthcare. All opinions expressed here are those of their authors and not of their employer. Information provided here is for medical education only. It is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice. Call 888.777.5959 for more information.
Fall Prevention Tips for Elderly Patients
Mon, 5/24/2010 10:00 AM
As a home health physical therapist, I go in and assess and teach patients and family members how to prevent falls. Each time I make a visit I reinforce these tips:
Something to keep in mind that if your elderly family member is having falls and not sure why talk with the physician about ruling out a UTI (urinary tract infection).
Dawn Caldwell is a Physical Therapist in Memphis, Tennessee with Methodist Healthcare. All opinions expressed here are those of their authors and not of their employer. Information provided here is for medical education only. It is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice.
7 Ways to Prepare for Physical Therapy
Thu, 4/08/2010 3:40 PM
Hello. I am Dawn Caldwell, PT. I have worked as a physical therapist for 19 years and work in the homecare environment with my patients. Some people refer to PT as pain and torture but it refers to a physical therapist. There are some things you should know before you are referred to physical therapy.
If you go to your doctor with a problem and he says, "we are going to try some physical therapy to help you," you need to educate and prepare yourself so you know what to expect. Here are some ways to be ready for that first physical therapy visit:
When you arrive for your first physical therapy appointment, wear comfortable clothes and athletic shoes for your evaluation and therapy sessions. Relax and talk to your therapist. It is important that you feel comfortable talking to him or her about what is going on. I have talked with patients and found that the reason for the cramps or pain in their legs might be due to not taking their potassium as ordered, that another doctor has ordered a new medicine with pain as a side effect, not sleeping at night. When they saw the doctor this was not addressed.
So, the most important thing you can do is COMMUNICATE with your physical therapist and your doctor so you can get the best treatment for yourself.
Dawn Caldwell is a Physical Therapist with Methodist Healthcare. All opinions expressed here are those of their authors and not of their employer. Information provided here is for medical education only. It is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice.
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