How to damage your back in a few ways!

” Reed ki haadi nahi hai ?” translation being “spineless person?”

One phrase used a lot conventionally to denote sarcasm for a weak or lazy person. Irony is that, now you can actually reply to it saying ” thi, par tut gayi”  in English ” I managed to break it”

And this would not be a sentence denoting laziness or weakness anymore. Rather the opposite. The overworked individual in the wrong postures and a body that has toiled against bio-mechanical disadvantages.

This post is a salut to all those people who manage to damage their own backs, preluding ignorance due to work and other times due to tiredness or laziness.

This all gets done unknowingly.. But we need control and its become a necessity to consciously strive towards better bodies in this tech age….

To be able to exactly know how to get better, we need to know how we damaged it the first place… Outlining below is how we manage to damage our backs from the time we get up to the time we go to bed.

  1. The moment we jump out of bed to our alarms screeching. Yes we literally do jump out of our beds somewhat like this…

Look at what is happening here.. First you are jerking so there is a higher risk of your muscles getting strained or ligaments in the back getting sprained. Secondly, your Abdominal Muscles -Abs are contracting strongly to get your upper body to the upright position, without the co-contraction of the back extensors. This increases the pressure on your spine and the discs. It is increased to a greater extent in people who already suffer from back pain as the back muscle are inhibited.output_kEPR6s (1)

The better way to get up from your bed or lying position is the OLDIE WAY! the way old people do..

It helps in protecting your back and avoiding unwanted strains, sprains or slip discs..

2. Say you dropped your brush to the floor or your bath soap slipped out of yimages (1)our hand and you bent to pick it up..

This picture depicts how our backs are rounded while we bend to pick up things or simply even bend to tie our shoe laces while standing.

Injuries sustained to the back during different movements function in the same way. In this Picture, the stresses on the back muscles are way more to control the movement of the rounded trunk. The small intersegmental muscles and ligaments are stressed to hold the segments and discs in place. Imagine how much stress these small muscles would undergo when lifting weights from the floor.


Worry not ! There is a way in which these stresses of controlling the heavy trunk can be passed on from the smaller muscles to the larger ones. When you keep your back flat  (like on the right hand side of the picture) while you are bending you are locking the small joints out keeping the stresses across the discs and those joints at minimum. This enables the transfer of the excessive to the larger muscles like your glutes and the hamstrings which are easily able to control your trunks descent and have enough strength to get you to erect position too..

  1. When you are relaxing at your workplace or watching  TV after a tiresome day..94

Thats the way most of us sit.. Our comfort position. With our backs slouched against the chair, legs either crossed at ankles or up on the table. Look at the curvature of your spine.It is curved like an arc. Our spines, the intersegmental ligaments and muscles are meant to be in a natural curvature which includes a few degrees of convexity at your thoracic level and concavities at your neck-cervical and lower back-lumbar levels.

They are optimized to fit this natural shape. When you force it to lengthen due to slouching, they undergo a lot of stretch and eventually strain.  These are the ones that support and hold the spine in place. Straining them can have long lasting ill effects in the form of unremitting low back pain, PIDs-Slip discs, degeneration of the spine due to excessive pressures.

Its very simple to prevent it.. Take a look at the picture, remember the 90 degrees angles that are maintained at the knees, hips and the elbows with a straight spine. Try maintaining this posture for at least 50-70% of the day.

And the Last one for now..

4. While you get back to sleeping at the end of a tiresome day.

Many a times we tend to lie down on our sides without the use of adequate pillow
support. There is  an imbalance created at your pelvis with one leg supported on the bed and the other leg slanting over the lower one. This puts a lot of stress on the hip muscles of the upper leg. Also, in this position, The spine is not well supported. A way to balance out the pelvis and the spine is to use a pillow between both the legs to level the pelvis. Patients with back pain should absolutely avoid this position.

Now that we have recognized a few ways to damage the back during the day and at night, Lets also keep in mind the tips to lessen the strain on our backs. Every little thing that you take care of is going to add more years to your back and help you live a pain free life.

So, Take that first step. Be aware of your own body. Work to make it better. And know that I have got your BACK 😉

Published by hemaliphysio

Ortho & Sports Physio, The Movement Analyst

One thought on “How to damage your back in a few ways!

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