#ProtectYourBack – Spinal Anatomy with Physical Therapist Jim Flaherty

PT corner
By Jim Flaherty, PT, Atlantic Physical Therapy Center

To protect your back, it’s important to first understand about spine anatomy and how the back and hips move and work. In our latest PT Corner monthly blog series, watch a short video clip to learn more about the spine, including lifting tips when picking up items low to the ground.

Our spine is not straight up and down, especially in our lower back. We have a lower back curve called a lordodic curve. When bending and picking things up off of the ground, be sure to always maintain this normal curve position or neutral spine alignment.

The back consists of vertebrae, which are bones that are stacked on top of one another. While there is some movement and your back can bend, twist, and rotate, there isn’t a lot of movement. The joint spaces in our back are very small. So your back can move, but it’s not built for excessive movement. The hip, however, is built for movement and is surrounded by big muscles that we want to utilize when we’re bending to pick something up off the ground instead of smaller muscles in our lower back.

Lifting Tip: Maintain neutral spine alignment and move through the hips and not just bend at the knees.

Watch “#ProtectYourBack: Spinal Anatomy” to learn more about how to #ProtectYourBack when bending and lifting and performing activities low to the ground. And stay tuned for more in our monthly blog video series!




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