Proper Lifting Techniques
Lower and upper back pain is one of the most common ailments that chiropractors treat. Improper lifting techniques can contribute to this problem, causing back pain sufferers to endure months of treatment and expense to alleviate the problem. Back pain makes it impossible perform even the simplest tasks without pain.
Learning how to lift heavy objects properly can help you avoid back injuries. Here are a few tips to keep in mind next time you have a heavy load to carry:
- Plan ahead before you lift heavy objects. Make sure you check to make sure that you can safely carry the object alone. If necessary, wait to get the job done until you have help. Remove any objects that might get in your way while moving the object. Lowering your risk of tripping over an object or twisting your back to avoid objects can help prevent injuries. If you plan to lift with another person, make sure you decide on a game plan before your begin lifting to avoid awkward movements while moving the object.
- Hold the object you’re lifting as close to your body as possible. You will have more control over the object, and put less strain on your body. Keep a firm hold on what you’re lifting and keep the object as balanced as possible to avoid twisting your back.
- Keep your feet a shoulder width apart to provide a solid base while you lift heavy objects. If your feet are placed too far apart, it will prevent your body from moving naturally, and increase the risk for injury. Placing your feet too close together will provide a less stable base and make it harder to keep the load balanced properly.
- Remember to keep your back straight and bend at the knee to lift. Practice the lifting motion a few times before you attempt to lift to help you focus. Tighten your core to help hold your back in proper position to lift.
- One of the most important things to remember is to lift with your legs, not your back. Your legs are way stronger than your back. Keep your eyes focused upward to help your posture. Use a belt to support your back when lifting as needed.
- If you find that the object you’re trying to lift is too heavy or awkward, ask for help.
- Stretching before lifting can help reduce injuries.
- Be aware of your limitations. Ask for help if needed, or find someone else to do the job. Nothing is more important than your back health.
- If you do notice back pain after lifting, ice the area immediately and call your chiropractor as soon as possible. Immediate treatment can help prevent a minor injury from becoming a big deal.
Proper lifting techniques can save you months of suffering with a painful back injury. To recap, don’t bend at your back to lift, keep the item close to your body, lift with your legs, look up and get help if you need it. Read more about preventing back injuries, here.