If you’ve ever picked up something heavy and felt that “OUCH” you know that lifting things improperly can lead to back, leg and arm pain. Lifting incorrectly can cause both acute or immediate injuries, and also serious chronic or longer lasting injuries. Learning the right way to lift will help you avoid all of these problems.
Having a plan before lifting is important. Knowing where you’re going and what you’re doing before lifting will help you not make moves that may hurt you. Also be sure that the path you will be taking is clear so you don’t trip. Because let’s face it, no matter how well you lift something tripping with your hands full is guaranteed to cause injury!
When you do lift, lift close to your body. It is easier and more stable to lift something if it is held close in to your body rather than far away from it. It doesn’t shift your center of gravity and will make you less apt to fall. Have a good grip on the object and keep it balanced. Keep your feet shoulder width apart. It will provide you with a solid base to support the load. If you keep your feet too close you’ll be more unstable, too far is awkward and makes it too hard to move.
When you get ready to lift, be sure to bend your knees and keep your back straight. Think like a ballet dancer doing a plie. Keeping your spine straight and facing forward will keep you from injuring it. Next, tighten your stomach muscles. Tight abdominals will keep your back in the best lifting position and helps prevent excessive force on the spine. Then use your legs, the muscle group that is much stronger than your back muscles, to lift. Keep your eyes focused up and that will also keep your back straight. Also, don’t twist your back or torso in order to lift anything.
Also, wearing a support belt or back support of some kind will be helpful. Not only will it provide extra support, but it will also remind you to not bend and lift from your back. It should go without saying that if it’s too heavy for you to lift on your own, get help.
If you are experiencing back pain because of lifting improperly, give us a call to schedule a FREE Back Back Pain Evaluation (720) 493-1181.