There are two kinds of people, my sister says. People with back problems, and people who don’t have back problems yet.
Are you the kind of person who will develop back problems? Take this easy test.
l. Are you alive?
2. Are you getting older?
3. Do you ever pick things up?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, back problems are probably in your future. (Eighty percent of adults experience them at some point.)
“But I’m not the kind of person who has back problems!” you protest.
That’s what everyone says. Right up until the moment his or her back goes out.
What did mine in was decades of library work. Hours spent lifting small weights (books). And heavier weights (reference books). Not to mention carrying carton after carton of donated books from the vestibule where patrons dropped them off into the storage room. All of which I handled with the casual assumption that I was, and would always be, Superwoman.
I thought nothing of stooping, hoisting up a mammoth box of books, then lugging it the length of the library.
People tried to warn me. “Watch your back!” a patron would caution as I staggered by with a large box.
“Thanks!” I would respond, while thinking: “Back problems? Me? Not a chance.”
Then one morning I got out of bed and I couldn’t stand up. My back refused to bear my weight. I hit the floor, then crawled back into bed and phoned my sister, who has coped with back problems...
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