About 80 percent of the US population experiences back pain in their adult life with a small percentage developing long term disability.1 Lifting the wrong way can contribute to back injuries. Lifting improperly can also cause injury to other areas like the neck, shoulder and knee muscles, joints and ligaments. To prevent injuring yourself and adapt proper lifting techniques, here are a few helpful tips:
- When lifting a heavy object from the ground…face the object you will be lifting, bend your knees into a squat position and use two hands to lift the object. You could also put one knee on the ground, pick up the object and then stand up.
- Once the heavy object is lifted…hold and carry it at your belly button region to avoid twisting your back. For example, carry your laundry basket in front of you rather than on your hip to avoid twisting your back.
- When lifting an object from above shoulder level…avoid arching yourself backwards too far. Get a stepping stool to get yourself closer to the object or stagger your legs and shift your weight onto your back leg.
- When getting out of bed…roll to your side first and then sit up instead of sitting straight up. This will decrease stress on your low back.
- When vacuuming…push and pull the handle from your belly button region to prevent twisting your back repetitively.
- When standing up from a chair…bring your buttocks to the edge of the chair, lean forward a little and push up from your legs.
If you would like one-on-one instructions on proper ways to move, you can call any of our Sports PT locations and one of our physical therapist’s can work with you. If you have injured yourself while lifting, you should call your doctor or call Sports PT and with Direct Access we can get you in within 24 hours to start your recovery.