Back pain can be caused by many factors, one of which is improper lifting techniques. While you should never lift anything too heavy for your capabilities, you may find yourself needing to move heavy, bulky objects from time to time at work or home. Learning how to do so safely could help you keep painful back injuries at bay.
5 Ways to Avoid Back Pain from Heavy Lifting
1. Bend at the Hips
One of the culprits behind back strain caused by lifting is bending the spine. This puts pressure on the back, especially when you add the weight of a heavy object. If an object is located on the ground and you need to pick it up, squat by bending at the hips to pick it up.
2. Avoid Slouching
When you hunch forward, you’re more inclined to put pressure on the muscles and bones in the back. Keeping your chest forward and maintaining a neutral spine encourages the back muscles to work together, instead of one muscle doing too much work and becoming strained.
3. Lift Using Your Legs
Your leg muscles are larger than those found on your upper body and are therefore stronger. Using your lower body to lift heavy objects can aid in injury prevention. Instead of trying to use your upper body to raise the object, channel power through your legs.
4. Tighten Your Abdomen
While consciously maintaining proper posture is a good way to avoid straining your back, another way to support a neutral spine is to engage your abdominal muscles. Keep them tight as you lift to alleviate the pressure on the back.
5. Hold the Object Properly
As you carry the object, avoid bearing the weight on one side. This can cause your spine to twist and create added stress on one side of the back. Instead, hold it directly in front of you and keep the weight close to your body so it’s evenly distributed.
While back injuries from lifting are often avoidable, not all conditions causing back pain can be prevented. If you’re suffering from persistent discomfort and want to address the root cause of your back or neck pain, contact the team at Source Therapy in Gig Harbor, WA. This locally owned and operated center specializes in helping patients recover from injuries and chronic pain through targeted, effective treatment plans. Request an appointment by messaging their team online or by calling (253) 857-4870.