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How to Avoid Lifting Injuries

By Sara Butler

In the United States alone, as many as 31 million Americans can experience lower back pain at any given time, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Where does this lower back pain come from? Well, the National Institute for Occupation Safety and Health says that work-related lifting is one of the leading causes of low back pain. Here’s how you may be able to prevent injuring your back at work, all by learning how to lift properly with the help of your chiropractor!

Why Lifting is a Big Problem

Just as is the case with the rest of your body, your lower back is made up of an intricate network of bones, muscles, nerves and connective tissue. These structures each have their own limits, and if pushed beyond those limits can be injured.

If you can learn to lift properly and combine that with proper posture, then you’re doing a big favor to your lower back by reducing the risk of sprains and strains. After all, your spine was made to carry a big load and if you can maintain its natural curvature no matter what you’re doing, then you can keep injury at bay.

Lifting Incorrectly

There are some common mistakes people make that can lead to injury of the lower back. Improper lifting techniques include:

  • Bending at the waist instead of the knees.
  • Twisting the torso while lifting.
  • Using the back to lift instead of the legs.
  • Using these techniques or a combination of them will eventually lead to back pain and injury.

Lifting Correctly

Your chiropractor can help you to understand the proper posture for lifting. In general, you should follow these tips when lifting:

  • Plan ahead – Think about how you’re going to lift it and how you’ll move it before you do it. If it’s too heavy or large, get help.
  • Lift with the arms and legs – You need to take advantage of the power contained within the muscles of your legs and hips. Bend at your knees and maintain a slight curve inward of the spine.
  • Keep it close – You should keep what you’re lifting, no matter how small, as close to your body as possible. The farther away you hold an object, the more strain it will put on your back.
  • Nose between your toes – This sounds silly, but to prevent yourself from twisting your torso you should think about keeping your nose between your toes. This will help you remember to pivot as you move instead of twist when carrying something.

If you hurt your back when lifting get in to see your chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractor as soon as you can! 

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