One way to help ensure your back doesn’t give you trouble is to maintain a Back Resiliency Plan (BRP). A BRP is a set of easy to follow behaviors you can implement to both reduce the risk of injury in the first place and if injured, reduce the severity and speed your recovery. The basic components of a BRP include:
- Healthy Weight. Maintaining a reasonably healthy weight (no more than 10 lbs over ideal) reduces the physical load on your spine and requires less core strength to maintain posture. You’re also less likely to injury yourself should you lift a heavy load or lift incorrectly.
- Core Strength. Develop solid core strength in your back muscles and abdominals. Toned muscles are less prone to strain (‘pulling’) and help maintain good spine alignment, reducing your risk of back problems. Good posture (not slouching, back straight while sitting, etc) goes hand-in-hand with core strength.
- Body Dynamics. Never lift a heavy weight alone, get the necessary support and work as a team. The heavier the weight, the more people needed. When you lift, keep your stomach muscles tight, back straight and lift with your legs. Never twist while lifting – this can be especially dangerous for your spine. When carrying an object, keep it close to your chest.
- Sit Properly. Whether it’s a thin wallet packed into your left back pants pocket or one handcuff case left of midline on your Sam Browne, the resulting unilateral pressure on your butt or back can easily cause discomfort if not longterm consequences. Try not to cross your legs when sitting. Don’t sit on your wallet, place it somewhere else. Balance the pressure against your low back by positioning two handcuff cases or other similar dimension equipment evenly on your back.
- Attend to Injuries. Practice good First AID. Temporarily rest painful, but generally minor back strain, sprain and muscle spasms. Try icing the low back or using heat, whichever works better for you. Consider taking mild pain medication such as aspirin or ibuprofen. If the pain gets progressively worse over a couple days, or if you ever have loss of bowel or bladder control, seek medical attention immediately.
This posting and website is not intended to provide medical advise. If you ever have any pain or condition which presents a concern, however minor, to you, we recommend you contact your personal health care practitioner immediately.