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Helping a patient change positions requires proper body mechanics on your part. They'll make your job easier and reduce your risk of injury. Proper body mechanics means maintaining the natural curves of your spine in proper alignment. To do this successfully, follow these steps:

 

1. Bend your knees to get up and down.

 

2. Keep the patient close to your body to minimize forces on it.

 

3. Pivot; don't twist.

 

4. Respect your limits: Don't risk injury by trying to do more than you can handle.

 

 

Besides using proper lifting techniques, you can help prevent back injuries by doing these exercises (unless your health care provider recommends against them). Most people find that just 10 minutes a day will help improve their back's strength and flexibility.

  
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To strengthen your stomach muscles:

 

* Lie on your back with both knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.

 

* Slowly raise your head and shoulders off the floor, keeping your hands across your chest.

 

* Work up to 30 repetitions.

 

  

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To strengthen your lower back:

 

* Lie on your back with both knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.

 

* With arms lying at your sides, tighten stomach muscles, squeeze buttocks, and slowly raise your hips into the air.

 

* Hold for 5 seconds, then slowly lower your buttocks back to the floor.

 

* Repeat 20 times.

 

  

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To strengthen your back and leg muscles:

 

* Stand with your back against a wall and your feet slightly apart.

 

* Slide into a "half-sit."

 

* Hold as long as you can; slide back up.

 

* Repeat five times.

 

  

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Aerobic exercise also stretches and strengthens the muscles that support your lower back, which combined with healthy eating can also help you maintain your ideal weight. If you're overweight, the extra pounds add to the strain on your lower back.

 

Source

 

Office of Research Services at the National Institutes of Health, http://www.nih.gov/od/ors/ds/ergonomics.