Body Mechanics: How to keep your spine in a safe & aligned position
Body mechanics is a term used to describe ways to move at home and work to keep your spine in a safe and aligned position. Using proper body mechanics reduces stress on your spine, so you can avoid injury and keep your neck and back healthy. Even if you have neck pain, using proper body mechanics is important and can help you control pain.
To perform tasks with minimal force placed upon the back and neck:
- Keep arms/elbows close to sides. Push/pull using whole body, not just your arms.
- Use your legs to perform tasks by bending at hips and knees, not your waist.
- Provide upper body support by placing hand/forearm on stable surface. For activities in standing, place one foot on stool.
- Avoid side bending/twisting of back; avoid prolonged/extreme movements of neck.
- Use a chair with good lower back support.
- Wear comfortable, low-heeled shoes.
Exercising on a regular basis and using good body mechanics at home and/or work are two ways to maintain a healthy spine. You may speak with your physical therapist to learn more about what exercises are appropriate for you and how to bend, lift, and sit correctly.