Knowledge base

Spine Sparing Strategies

For those vulnerable to spine fracture, it is very important to consider how your back is part of each movement. Most importantly pay attention to bending or twisting the spine, these movements are most risky when they are fast, repeated, when you are holding a weight, and when they move through the full range of bending and twisting.

How is your spine bending and twisting with everyday movements like bending down to pick something up from the ground or turning at the kitchen counter? Changing how you move can be hard, but it is an important strategy to protect the spine. People often don't think about how they move until they're hurting, so be patient with yourself!

Try out these tips for successfully protecting your spine:

  1. Use your legs. A lot of times we use our backs to spare our legs, but our legs have bigger muscles! The next time you need to bend down, use your hips and knees to bend and keep your back straight. This could be a strength challenge for your legs. You may have just found a new exercise to put on your list! Weak legs make for a vulnerable back, so check our exercise animations for strength exercises that target your legs!
  2. Use a stool to tie your shoes to protect from bending over too much with your spine.
  3. When carrying something, hold the object(s) close to your body. The further an object is held away from your body the greater the forces on your spine.
  4. When turning your body in a standing position, take steps versus twisting your neck and trunk.
  5. Use a gentle abdominal contraction (tighten the muscles in your belly) to brace your body when reaching for something