Saturday, May 16

Save Your Spine

I received an important call from my sister last Thursday informing me that our mother figured in an accident. She told me that our mom had a bad fall and crawled her way to the phone just so she can make a call for help. As I was on my way to bring my son to his music class, we decided that my sister and brother-in-law will go to our mother and bring her to the hospital. By the time they got there, my mother did not want to go the hospital anymore. She took a capsule of over-the-counter Ibuprofen that gave her quick relief. She was still aching though but was a little better than the time when she called for help.

My mother is already a retiree. She is living in our family home with my father and my two single brothers. My father has just recovered from a stroke attack in December of last year. My brother, the older of the two, was still at work and the younger one was in summer class. My mother narrated that she tried to lift the laser printer she had in her home office which is practically a stupid idea. I don't know why she wanted to lift the laser printer which even I cannot lift by myself! Considering her age and the weight of the laser printer, I thought that it was really a perfect recipe for an accident waiting to happen! When she lifted the printer, she felt her muscles contract and lost her balance. She didn't want her beloved printer to fall on the floor so she tried rescuing it by falling on her knees and letting it slide slowly from her thighs. From that point, she couldn't stand up any more so she crawled her way to the phone to send an SOS to my elder sister.

I was anxious and furious all at the same time! I wasn't even able to eat lunch and dinner because all the while I was monitoring her status. Accidents like these make me lose my appetite. If I always receive news bad as this, I wouldn't even need a diet pill like Liporexall to make me lose weight! But kidding aside, it was really a serious matter. I thought that we would be having another patient in the hospital when my siblings and I haven't fully recovered well yet financially after my dad's stroke in December.

When I got home that night, my mom and I had a long talk and I reminded her on how to carefully lift things. Once, I watched a TV show that featured that but all I can remember was to bend the knees and not the back when lifting things. I made a research about this and here are some of the techniques I have found:
  1. Lift with your head and not with your back. Before moving a heavy object, stop and think if there are better options available like pushing or dragging.

  2. Test and object first before lifting it. Some objects may actually weigh heavier than how they look like.

  3. Move a package piece by piece rather than all at once.

  4. Do not extend your arms while lifting a heavy object to avoid pressure on your back

  5. Be sure on where you are standing and avoid slipping.

  6. The correct lifting procedure is to keep the back straight, kneel and grasp the object and lift with the legs, not the back.

  7. Before lifting, plan in advance the route that you will take. Take short steps while lifting a heavy object

  8. Carrying an object on the head is more efficient. It is also better to carrry somehting on the shoulders than on the arms.

Carrying heavy objects can damage the spine. It can crush the discs and crush the nerves of the spinal column. It can also tear muscle ligaments in the back so carrying heavy objects should be avoided as much as possible.

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