Julie says: This can be a problem when you’re a carer and have to lift, and there’s lots of good advice on looking after your back at www.carersuk.org.
A good place to start is to focus on strengthening your core muscles, as this will help protect your back.
Try this exercise:
- Lie on the floor with your knees bent, your feet flat and hip-width apart.
- Tighten your abdominal muscles then slowly curl your pelvic bone up, then your bottom, creating a straight line from your knees to your shoulders. Your bottom will be off the floor.
- Hold for up to three seconds, lower your bottom to the floor and repeat up to ten times.
Joining a Pilates class if you have time is a great way to learn how to engage your core muscles to protect your back, which will help you in the long term. Keeping your leg muscles strong is also important because this will help with the lifting. It’s best to lift by bending your knees rather than bending forwards and using your lower back. Finally, walking up and down stairs is a great way to strengthen your legs.
There's more great advice from Julie in every issue of Yours magazine, out every fortnight on a Tuesday.