Back pain is often simple to fix and prevent without having to do less. Changing the way you lift and bend in your every day life can do a lot to decrease back pain. Think about how many times in a day you bend....checking the fridge, picking up laundry, making the bed, picking up a child, etc....putting stress incorrectly on your back that many times throughout the day can lead to back pain and injury. When adding the additional stress of extra weight from dive gear to the equation, the chances for injury increase dramatically.
Practicing good lifting habits and posture during diving and during every day life can decrease your back pain and allow you to enjoy your life a bit more. It does take some practice to get used to this new way of bending, but the benefits are worth it.
To properly bend to lift:
- Keep the torso upright
- Bend both knees while keeping both heels flat on the floor
- Glance down and look for your toes, if you do not see them your knees are too far forward, pull them back and you should feel the weight shift from your knees to your legs and hips. This will help with knee pain as well.
- Do not tilt your pelvis or backside far outward to increase the arch of the spine. This will cause the spine to be squeezed and pinched the other way.
- If you are walking/carrying something a long distance or standing for a long period of time, you should practice good posture and minimize the arch in the lower back. This puts the weight on your core muscles rather than your spine. Initially this will make the load feel heavier, but over time and with practice this will save your back and knees and reduce your slouch.