How to Prevent a Back Injury When Lifting

Whether you are at home, at work, or a friend’s house, lifting seems to be a part of your routine. It seems like there are objects or people that have to be moved constantly. From heavy boxes to children, your arms are full for the better part of the day. If you lift items (or children) with the wrong technique, you can end up with a back injury. Learn the proper way to lift, so you won’t have to worry about a painful injury holding you back.

Bend Your Hips and Keep Your Chest Forward

When you lift something, you likely bend your lower back and point your chest to the ground. However, it’s critical to keep your upper body as straight as possible. Instead of bending your back, bend at your hips and keep your chest facing the front. This simple move will protect your back when lifting.

Put Your Feet Shoulder-width Apart

It’s challenging to maintain proper balance if your feet are too close together or too far apart. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart and facing forward. This will make it much easier to stay balanced during the lifting process. 

Keep the Shoulders and Hips in Line

Maintaining proper posture is critical when lifting. As much as you might want to twist, keep your shoulders and hips in line with each other. This will keep your back straight, protecting the muscles. You might have to change direction while lifting, but you can do that safely by having your hips and shoulders move in the same direction at the same time. Think of your hips and shoulders as connected when lifting. Where one goes, the other follows.

Put Your Body Close to the Object

When you hold something away from your body, it puts extra stress on your back. The same is true when you lift something that is away from your body. You can reduce the amount of force by keeping objects close to your body when lifting them. Start with the object between your knees and then lift it.

Tighten Your Abdominal Muscles and Lift With Your Legs

As you start to lift, engage your abdominal muscles. This will help you keep your back straight. Then start to lift the object. As you do, use your legs instead of your back. Your leg muscles are much stronger than the muscles in your back, so this is a much easier and safer option.

Know When You Need Help

Asking for help might not be fun, but it can help you avoid an injury. If something is too heavy, ask someone to help you lift it. Also, if the load is too large to keep close to your body, get help.

Stay Safe When Lifting

Back injuries caused by lifting are far too common. People constantly use the wrong technique when lifting and end up on bed rest or in the doctor’s office. Use these tips when lifting, so you can stay safe and avoid injuries.