Thursday, March 19, 2009

Health Tips for March 19

Health Tip: Lifting Safety for Caregivers

If you are caring for an ill or injured loved one, you could be at risk for serious injury yourself if your daily routine includes a lot of heavy lifting.

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons offers these suggestions for caregivers to help prevent injury:

When lifting a person or heavy object:

  • Keep your head and neck in line with your spine.
  • Don't force your spine into awkward positions, and avoid bending at the waist.
  • Don't twist yourself when lifting or carrying.
  • Hold the loved one or object close to your body.
  • Don't stand with your feet too close together. Keep them about the width of your shoulders apart.
  • Lift with your legs, not your back.
  • If the person or object is too heavy to lift, ask someone else for help.

Health Tip: Protect Your Muscles

It's important to stretch and warm up your muscles before exercise.

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons lists these common risk factors for muscle strains and injury:

  • Tired muscles that have been worked too hard.
  • Tight muscles that haven't been properly stretched.
  • Weak muscles that haven't been strengthened through training and exercise.
  • Muscles that haven't been warmed up before exercise, sports or other activities.
  • Muscle groups that work together that don't have properly balanced strength. For example, a stronger hamstring than quadriceps, or vice versa.

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