Think Before You Lift: Preventing Back Injuries

Linsay Way Accident Prevention 3 Comments , , ,

Check The Object’s Weight Before You Lift It
• Test the weight of the load you’re about to lift by seeing how easily it moves with a slight push from your hands or your feet.
• A small size doesn’t always mean a light weight!

Make Sure The Load Is Balanced & Packed Correctly
• Make sure the weight is balanced and packed so it won’t move around.
• An improperly packed load can allow objects inside to shift, causing the load to become unbalanced and leading to an accident.
Safe Spine Lifting Technique
Can You Grip The Load Easily & Securely?
• Before lifting, make sure you have a firm grip on the object.
• Using handles will make lifting and carrying an object safer.

Is The Load Easy To Reach?
• Instead of reaching for something over your head, use a ladder.
• Get as close to the object as possible.
• Slide the object towards you if necessary.
• Avoid arching your back, letting your legs and arms do the majority of the work.

What Kind of Movements Should You Use?
• Go slow and use smooth movements. Fast, jerky motions can lead to muscle strain in your back.
• Don’t twist! Stay facing the object you’re lifting throughout the entire motion.
• Reaching out to grab and lift a load greatly increases the stress on your back. Keep it close to your body.
• Lift with your legs and straddle the load if possible. Bend at the knees, keeping your back as straight as possible.
• Carry the load at your torso, between your shoulders and waist, to reduce strain on your spine.

More Lifting Tips To Avoid Back Injuries
• Warm up. Get the muscles in your legs and back primed before lifting anything.
• Pace yourself and take breaks if it’s a big job.
• It’s easy to overdo it, but don’t! If you have to strain or use less than perfect form while lifting an object, it’s too heavy for you.
• Ensure that there’s enough room around the object to move freely. Clear a space if necessary.
• Look around before you lift and watch where you’re stepping. Make sure that the path where you’ll be walking is clear.
• Stay away from slippery or uneven surfaces while carrying a load.
• Don’t count on a back belt or brace to protect your spine. Research hasn’t proven that they’re effective at preventing injuries.
• Make sure to ask for help if you’re lifting a heavy load. Use a dolly, forklift or lifting straps if necessary.

About the author

Linsay Way

Dr. Linsay Way is a chiropractor in Milwaukee, WI. Recognized for her expertise in treating and training athletes in the Milwaukee, West Allis, Greenfield, Waukesha and New Berlin areas, Dr. Way's family practice is open to patients of all ages and conditions. Dr. Linsay loves helping her patients develop healthy habits through a lifestyle that embraces good nutrition, proper exercise and good spinal care.

3 Responses to Think Before You Lift: Preventing Back Injuries

  1. Jessie

    Thank you for your tips my family has history of having scoliosis and i want to prevent that as much as possible.

  2. banyedeme

    Thank you for the helpful article. I wish I knew this 10 years ago. When I was in high school I jumped high jump and didn’t land proper. So it rested in a waist injuring. Although I was hospitalized but the pain stil lingers till date.
    Planning to get it treated soon.
    banyedeme recently posted…how to get better sleep at night with Home Remedies

  3. Access Change

    It is so easy to injure yourself when lifting heavy items. Yes, keep it slow and steady. I cringe every time I see someone lift something heavy with a jerk!


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