Save Your Back When Lifting!
Anyone who has ever injured their back from lifting can tell you how important practicing safe lifting techniques are to prevent low back sprains and strains. Poor lifting technique can lead to subluxated (misaligned) vertebra, back pain, damaged muscles and ligaments, or herniated intervertebral discs or worse. Safe lifting is simple to learn, easy to do, and can keep your back working smoothly and pain-free.
1. Assess the Load
Before you lift, ask yourself “Can I lift this by myself?” and “Am I able to do so while holding the load close to my body?”. If the answers are yes, continue with the following steps.
2. “Tuck” Your Pelvis
Keep your spine’s curves in balance by tightening your abdominals and glutes, keeping your pelvis “tucked” under your body.
3. Bend Your Knees
Keep your feet about shoulder width apart and bend at the knees. Remember that the lifting motion should be done by the muscles in your legs, shoulders and arms, not your back. Don’t lean forward when you do! Squat down like you’re sitting down on a stool; your knees should never pass in front of your feet.
4. Keep It Close To Your Body
“Hug” the object you’re lifting as close to your body as possible as you gradually straighten to a standing position.
5. Don’t Twist
Twisting your back while carrying a heavy load puts extra stress on the structures in your spine and is just asking for an injury. If you must turn to place the object, step in the direction you’re moving instead of twisting.