Getting Back in the Game!

In Alberta, back injuries account for 25% of all Worker’s Compensation Board lost-time claims. Back injuries are very common. Most of us will experience some kind of back pain, strain or injury in our lifetime. 

To prevent back injuries, maintain strong muscles & bones. Exercise & eat a healthy diet. Work on your flexibility & ways to reduce stress. Correct your posture on a regular basis.

Practice good ergonomics. Lift properly. Ensure there is nothing to trip on (do a site audit) & wear good shoes. Ensure your work/living space is safe. If nececessary, modify your activities to prevent back strain. Take frequent breaks or alternate work activities to reduce repetitive stresses.

As a first aid/CPR instructor, I am always lifting bags of equipment in & out of my truck. I keep loads light & practice good lifting techniques. Unfortunately last week I woke-up to a severe back ache. It felt like I pinched a nerve (as my left leg was numb).

Stretching & hot baths weren’t helping, so I made an appointment with a chiropractor. X-rays revealed that my pain is due to a curve in my spine (which I was born with), age & arthritis (so much for aging gracefully). Fortunately, after only a few visits to the chiropractor, I am feeling some relief already.

Statistics gathered by WCB Alberta, indicate that chiropractic is the most consistent & cost-effective treatment for back injuries. Also, when it comes to tight back muscles, it is best to move around (slow but sure). In the process, muscles stay limber. This helps to speed up the healing process.

Back muscles are involved in all everyday activities. Do what you can to protect your back & to prevent injuries. If injured, consider getting the help of a qualified professional. We are all different, if traditional methods like stretching aren’t working for you consider chiropractics, massage or accupuncture. Find what works for you so that you can be pain-free, productive & back in the game of life!

Do-It-Yourself First Aid Kits

First aid kits are a must at home, at work & at play. Be prepared. You never know when someone may need your help.

When it comes to the workplace, all should have an OHS approved well stocked first aid kit. Ensure that all staff are aware of the location of your first aid kit.

You should also have a first aid kit in your home and in your car. A smaller version should also be taken with you when enjoying the wilderness (camping, fishing/boating & hiking).

Recently, while teaching a workplace first aid class, I was asked what to include in a home-made/do-it-yourself first aid kit. First aid kits will vary depending on where they will be used. Below I’ve provided a list from which you can draw upon.

The container should be durable, light weight & easy to carry/have a handle. Small plastic tackle boxes & art supply containers work well. If made for outdoor use, ensure that it is water proof. A zip-lock freezer bag will work as well.

Size/quantity of items will depend on the location/purpose of your kit. Below is a list of recommended items:

-          Personal items like medications (check expiry dates regularly)

-          Gloves (non-latex if allergic)

-          Breathing barrier device (with one-way valve)

-          Blanket (use space blanket if space is of a concern)

-          Sterile gauze pads

-          Larger absorbent compress dressings (can improvise with woman’s sanitary pads)

-          Adhesive cloth tape

-          Small scissors

-          Adhesive bandages (various sizes)

-          Tensor/elastic bandage

-          Triangular bandages (come in different sizes: 40”/40”/56” or 37”/37”/52” if you want to make one yourself or improvise using a scarf, fanny pack, bike tire tube or belt)

-          Antiseptic wipe packets

-          Instant Cold Compress

-          Aspirin (plus antihistamine for allergies if applicable)

-          Tweezers

-          Antibiotic cream/ointment (check expiry dates regularly)

-          Safety pins

-          Oral thermometer

Below are additional items that can be added/ kept in your car &/or for outdoor activities:

-          Cellphone

-          Flash light (check batteries regularly &/or bring extras) &/or candles

-          Sun block

-          Bug spray

-          Lighter/water-proof matches

-          Whistle

-          Pocket knife

-          Water

-          Non-perishable snacks

-          Duct tape (multiple uses when improvising)

-          Splints can be purchased but are also easy to find. Be creative & improvise using objects like sticks/tree branches, golf clubs, baseball bats etc.

For workplace Red Cross first aid training contact Go-Getters Inc. Training will be customized so that it is meaningful to each workplace. We’ll give your team the confidence to react to real life/work medical emergencies. Call 403 481 8175 today!