Who’s Got Your Back? Part I

Whether you’re pulling lobster traps or oysters cages, or hunched over shucking scallops, your low back probably takes a beating. Fishermen have an intuitive understanding of ergonomics but perhaps don’t stretch and strengthen specific muscles as often as they should in order to prevent and alleviate low back pain.

Here’s the team that has your back:

  • Brie Weisman is an Occupation Therapist and part of the AgrAbility program. (She’s also writing a monthly column in Commercial Fisheries News!)
  • Toni Small is a Yoga Instructor and owns Oryx WorX. She lives in Port Clyde with her husband John Cotton a commercial fisherman.
  • Monique Coombs, Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association, lobstering family, and soon-to-be NASM certified personal trainer.

Work Task:

Two fisherman seen from the back, bending over a boat railing

Throughout the day, you find yourself bending at the waist while standing or kneeling, for example, while pulling traps or cages from the water. This action can put extra strain on the lower back. Using a stretch like the Warrior Pose can help counter that stress on the muscles. To help reduce lower back pain and inflammation, use the warrior stretch to encourage extension of the spine.

Solution for Better Health:

Warrior One

 

Hold onto a support with right hand. Step left foot back about three feet, turn foot about 45 degrees left. Bend right knee and align directly over ankle. Keep left leg straight. With equal weight on both feet, reach hands skyward. Take a few deep breaths. Repeat with right foot back.

 

While stretching be sure to pause and breathe fully – in through the nose, out through the mouth. A breath cycle is an inhale and an exhale. Inhaling, feel your lungs expand, your spine lengthen, and the crown of your head lift. Exhaling, continue to sit or stand tall, slowly expel your breath completely though the mouth or nose.

 

 

Illustrated Warrior One:

Breathing Technique:

**There is no audio for this Square Breathing video.

Back Health Resources: