One of the main causes of back pain is repetitive stress through lifting, bending, and twisting of the back. These are important movements that are required in everyday life and a necessary part of many jobs, so it is important that we are doing them correctly in order to minimize stress on the back.
There are four primary principles of safe lifting.
1. Be as close to the object as possible. The further an object is away from your body, the heavier it will feel, and the more stress it will put on your body and likely your back.
To understand this, pick up a weight that is easy for you to hold in one hand. Hold it close to your body. Then, reach your arm out and hold it away from your body. Feel the difference?
2. Whenever possible, lift with your legs. This requires you to squat as low as possible in order to utilize your leg muscles instead of your back muscles when you lift.
3. Keep a flat back. Do not flex or extend at the spine; let your legs do the work. The more the spine is flexed or extended, the greater the stress on the back and the more likely you are to injury it.
4. When moving an object from one place to another, move your feet first rather than twisting in the spine. Remember to keep the object close to you.
Back pain is a preventable injury and you can decrease your risk of injury by incorporating these important 4 principles. If you have injured your back or want instruction on how you can lift safely to protect your back, you can consult with a physical therapist. To schedule an appointment with us at Ascent, you can call us at our Avon office at (970)949-9966, or in Eagle at (970)328-5230.