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BACKS

Have you ever given much thought to your back? It's there when you need it, but only if you don't abuse it. The back is made up of four major parts. The spine, nerves, muscles, and the spinal cord. There are thirty-three bones in the spine and thirty-one pairs of nerves branching out from the spinal cord. All of them must work together. If they don't, you could end up with anything from a strain to a ruptured disk, fractured vertebrae, and/or a debilitating disease like arthritis.

To help prevent a back injury you should exercise, practice good posture, eat the right foods, and watch your weight. Check with your doctor for muscle strengthening exercises for the back.

Other things you can do to prevent back injuries include using work-saving devices -- hand trucks, forklifts, wheelbarrows, and dollies can assist you. When you have an object to lift that is too heavy or bulky get help! Ask a co-worker for their assistance. Remember, two backs are stronger than one.'

Now, what can you do when you have to do some lifting? Check out the object to be lifted. Think about how you are going to grasp the load and make sure there is a clear path of travel so you won't stumble. Before you lift, stand close to the object, bend down at the knees and straddle it, get a good grip, and lift with your legs while keeping your back straight. The secret is to let your legs do the work.

It doesn't have to be a heavy load -- even a small, very light object lifted incorrectly can trigger a back injury.

Back injuries can be painful, disabling, paralyzing, and sometimes even fatal. Protect your back by following the guidelines above. You're here today -- we want you BACK tomorrow.

AVOID THE MISERY OF A SORE BACK THINK BEFORE YOU LIFT - THEN DO IT CORRECTLY.

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