It’s something you may do every day and hardly think about but can also contribute to severe back pain. Whether you do it once or repeatedly, lifting heavy objects can cause significant injury to the low back if not done properly. Talk to your spine doctor about proper lifting techniques to avoid pain and injury.
What to Avoid
One of the worst things that individuals can do when lifting objects is to bend at the waist. Doing so places stress on the lumbar spine. Instead, bend at the knees while maintaining a straight back and upright posture. Other things to avoid include lifting objects that are too heavy for you and twisting while lifting. Both of these things place extra stress and strain upon the lumbar, which can lead to injury and pain. If possible, avoid lifting objects above the waist and shoulders to prevent excessive curvature of the lumbar spine.
What to Do
Part of proper lifting technique is correct positioning of your feet and the object you are trying to lift; keep the object as close to your body as possible to reduce torque placed on the lumbar spine and keep your feet at least shoulder width apart. Both of these things help to provide extra leverage and stability. When you are ready to lift, keep your body straight and pointed at the object and balance the load across both sides of your body for equal weight distribution.
Remember that back injuries can occur as a result of repetitive injury to the spine or from an isolated single injury. By incorporating these simple lifting techniques into your regular routine, you can decrease your chances of a low back injury. If you have been injured because of heavy lifting or other causes, contact your spine specialist for treatment options.
The founder of Kraus Back and Neck Institute, Dr. Gary Kraus is a leading Houston neurosurgeon specializing in spine health, spine surgery, and non-surgical spine treatments. For more information, please visit us online or call us today at (888) 816-8954 to schedule a consultation.