Ponchatoula Therapy offers suggestions on back pain

screen-shot-2016-09-29-at-5-37-04-pmBackspin is taking on the job of writing ptspin this month as Scott and Carrie Higgs, PT and OT respectively, are busy rebuilding their home … as well as rebuilding some of their patients.

The Higgs family is building their new home in the neighborhood at Carter Plantation in Springfield. The sheetrock was brand new, and will be once again.

Right now, however, Scott and Carrie are very much concerned about their patients, many of whom also flooded and are taking on the job of recovery on their own.

With so many homes out of flood zones that still flooded, those who had no insurance, many are relying on their own muscle to do the job – muscle that is not used to that sort of task.

Removing sheetrock and pulling up flooring is hard work. Waterlogged carpet is extremely heavy, and the glue that holds that carpet (as well as other flooring) seems to be waterproof.

“We’re seeing strained necks and forearms so far,” Scott said. “We think it’s just people doing more than they are physically capable of doing.”

He and Carrie stress the need to know physical limitations. Back and neck pain is a sign that there is injury or that the body needs rest.

Additionally, repetitive motion such as hammering or sawing, coupled with the desire to hurry and get back to normal, can be very dangerous. “If people are rushing to get things done, doing things their bodies are not used to, they can actually cost themselves more time in the long run.”

Scott and Carrie caution that rebuilders should also focus on proper body mechanics and posture. The need to recover normalcy does not trump the need to protect the back and muscles that support it.

“Listen to your body,” Carrie says. “When it hurts, stop. Don’t try to push through it.”

Finally, Scott says that in times of fatigue, people are actually more prone to injury. “People aren’t resting well at night, and they are waking up early to try to get things done. All these combinations can potentially lead to major injury.

Don’t forget to watch the critters either. And remember to get a tetanus shot if you haven’t had one in 10 years. “Monitor your environment well,” Carrie says.

“Don’t wait to see your doctor if you notice wounds or know you are injured,” she suggests. “Recovery is important, but health is paramount. You can’t recovery if you’re not healthy.”