Proper Lifting Techniques - Safe Lifting Explained
Our spines are strong and flexible yet can be injured if we don’t use proper lifting techniques. Improper lifting can lead to some lower back problems, in particular muscle and ligament strains. These injuries are generally not serious and are classed as simple lower back pain, however they can still be very painful and last a few weeks before you feel better so it’s far better to try and prevent them happening. Disc bulges can also be caused or made worse by not using a safe lifting technique.
There are some basic ‘ground rules’ which it’s worth following in order lift safely and prevent back injuries.
- Do you really need to lift it? This may seem a daft question perhaps but its one we often don’t ask, so do stop and think for a moment.
- How heavy is the load? Do you need to get someone to help you lift?
- Have you cleared a path and planned where you are going?
- Assuming you do need to lift follow this proper lifting technique:
- How to stand when lifting - Keep your feet hip width apart, with one foot behind the load and the other in front – your feet should not be parallel.
- Bend your knees and get a good grip on the load.
- Keep your spine in a neutral position; in a mid position between flexed and straight, this lets the supportive abdominal muscles do their job more effectively.
- Make sure you keep your spine nice and straight.
- Tighten your abdominal muscles.
- Lift the weight from your legs; don’t lift from your back.
- Keep looking straight ahead and try not to twist and turn (move your feet to go around corners).
- Put the object down by bending your knees whilst keeping your back in as neutral a position as possible.
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Lower Back Pain Toolkit Home Page
March 2, 2015