This post isn’t neurologic in nature, it’s orthopedic. But I was an orthopedic physical therapist and they say write about what you know right? This will help everyone – stroke survivors included because as a general rule, people usually have terrible body mechanics. Body mechanics means the position of your body when doing stuff. So how you lift something, how you carry something, how you sit, stand, walk – that’s all body mechanics. The most important thing you need to know about body mechanics is the position of your spine. The spine should ALWAYS be straight. You’ve heard “lift with your legs not with your back” right? Well this means that whenever you lift something/pick something up – even a piece of paper – it should be done with a straight back. The proper way is to bend down by bending the knees and keeping your back straight. Don’t bend over at the waist – bad. And, whenever you lift and carry something – especially something heavy – hold it very close to your body.
I was asked frequently “should I wear a weight belt when I workout?” My answer – no. There is no research that proves that weight belts help at all. Here’s the thing – if you don’t learn about good body mechanics and practice them, that weight belt isn’t going to do anything. It’s MUCH better to learn proper body mechanics and then use your muscles to employ them rather than wear some weight belt that is supposed to keep the spine straight externally. If you don’t have good body mechanics while performing an activity – especially a repetitive activity – you will eventually have back pain. A lot of physical therapists will address back pain by strengthening the abs and back. Well, that’s all well and good and you’ll probably even feel better because you’re probably no longer performing the aggravating activity but it’s not, in my opinion, the way to help back pain. Body Mechanics