Understand your back – a healthy back has 3 natural cuves
- Cervical curve of the neck: supports the head
- Thoracic curve of the middle back: supported by the ribcage
- Lumbar curve of your lower back: balances the entire upper body(most susceptile to injury).
Ten Principles of Body Mechanics
- Plan to maneuver – a) Assess the client’s situation, b) Know your destination, c) Clear a path;
- Always ask for help when available;
- Position your feet apart at shoulder’s width to give you a broad base support;
- Keep the load to be lifted close to your body to avoid extended reaching. Bring height of object to waist level or lower your self to level of the client/resident;
- Point feet in the direction that you are moving. Bend at your knees and hips. Do not bend or twist your back;
- Straighten your legs to lift using your strongest muscles: leg and thigh;
- Pivot your feet or change their position when turning. Do not bend or twist your back;
- Push, pull, roll or slide an object instead of lifting. Use the weight of your body to move the load by shifting your weight from front of foot to rear of foot;
- Always use assistive devices when advisable and available;
- Make sure all surfaces are stable. Lock all wheels.