When you have orthopedic issues, St. Anthony's is here to help. But to prevent future orthopedic problems, consider these guidelines.
Protect Your Back
When lifting an object, follow these steps:
- Get close to the object
- Bend at the knees
- Tighten your abdomen muscles
- Use your leg muscles as you lift and straighten up
- Ask for help if an object is too heavy
If you are holding or carrying a heavy object, follow these steps:
- Keep your knees slightly bent to maintain your balance
- As you move, avoid twisting your body
- Point your toes in the direction you need to move
- Keep the object close to your body
When you are sitting, follow these steps:
- Keep you back in a slightly arched position.
- Sit up straight with your head and neck aligned above your spine.
- Be sure your chair supports your lower back.
- Make sure your work space is the right height so you don't lean forward
- Every hour, or more, make a point to stand, stretch, and walk around
Take Care of Your Feet
By caring for your feet, you can also maintain spine health. Consider these tips:
- Wear properly fitting shoes with nonslip soles
- Avoid high heels
- Make sure your shoe laces are tied
- Avoid walking in your stocking feet
Prevent Falls and Broken Bones
There are many ways to can lower your risk of falls and broken bones. Consider these ideas:
- Make sure you are getting enough calcium and vitamin D
- At home, ensure that stairways are well lit
- Do not leave objects on stairs
- Keep floors clear of clutter
- Make sure all rugs are skid resistant. Avoid throw rugs.
- Install handrails in bathrooms and on stairways
- Add nonskid strips to the floors of your bathtub and shower
- Keep a flashlight near your bed
- Do not stand on unsteady footstools, chairs, or ladders
- Make sure you have someone to help with tasks that require reaching high places
- Make sure electrical cords are not in pathways
- Clean up spills right away
Stay Safe on the Playing Field
When you exercise or take part in sports, there are ways to lower your risk of injury. Here are some guidelines to consider:
- Be sure to warm up before any athletic activity
- Make sure you invest in the right equipment, including supportive, well-fitting shoes
- Take lessons for a particular sport so you know the rules and the safety precautions
- Make sure your fitness program is balanced and includes cardio, flexibility, and strength training
- If something starts to hurt, stop. Be sure to listen to the signals your body is sending you
- If you have been injured, give your body time to fully heal before you take the field again
Watch Your Overall Health
Remember that your bone health is directly tied to your general health, so follow these guidelines for staying fit and strong.
- Avoid excessive alcohol use
- Make sure you are getting enough calcium and vitamin D in your diet
- Take extra care if you are using medication that makes you drowsy
- Stay active. Weight-bearing exercise can help keep your bones strong
If you smoke, quit. Smoking reduces the blood supply to your bones. It also decreases calcium absorption in your body. When you smoke, fractures can take longer to heal since nicotine adversely affects bone-forming cells.
For more information about our orthopedic services, please call (727) 825-1100.