Too many of us have experienced a time when we attempted to lift something, and were met with extreme back pain and instant regret. We can spare ourselves this pain by practicing safe lifting techniques.

  • Plan to lift. Make sure you have a clear path ahead and have a good idea of where you are moving the object so that you are not holding the object for an unreasonably long amount of time.
  • Make sure you have a clear view of where you are going. Whether this means not stacking boxes too high or carrying objects horizontally, make sure the object isn’t obstructing your view.
  • Keep your feet about a shoulder width apart. placing your feet too wide apart can make lifting the object more difficult and having them too close together can make you unsteady.
  • Face forwards. Avoid bending your neck while lifting as you can strain this muscle in the process.
  • Get a good grip on the object and hold it close to your body. Lifting away from your body can strain back and shoulder muscles, while gripping close to your body will be noticeably more stable.
  • Keep your back straight while bending. Avoid a “hunch-back” position while lifting as this posture puts a lot of pressure on the spine. The wrong movement or too much weight on the area can put you at risk of a herniated disc.
  • Bend your knees while lifting. Many people have a tendency to bend at the waist when picking something up and this puts pressure and the weight of the object on the spine. Additionally, keeping the knees slightly bent throughout the lifting process, can provide better balance.
  • Lift with your leg muscles. Many have been given the advice to lift with their legs. You do this by bending the knees and keeping a straight back which will allow the leg muscles to do the lifting. The leg muscles are stronger than the back muscles and learning to use this to your advantage will be beneficial to your spine health.

Remembering these methods can spare you the grief and pain of a long term back injury. It is important to note that if the spine is not properly aligned, lifting will be a pain not matter how well you follow the proper techniques. Receiving regular chiropractic care can ensure proper spine alignment and can make lifting, and daily life in general, more comfortable. Remember, it is much easier to prevent an injury rather than having to get treatment when it is too late.