Anyone can suffer from lifting mistakes that can cause back pain.  Parents lifting babies or children, caregivers moving patients, workers hefting awkward or heavy materials, tools or equipment; any of us can suffer a back injury at some time in our lives.  As chiropractors, we regularly treat people who were injured by improper lifting. Knowing these common lifting  mistakes  may help you avoid unnecessary back pain.

How to Avoid 5 Common Lifting Mistakes

  1. Lifting something too heavy? …If you are straining,  get help. Help can be from someone else or getting a dolly or cart. If you suddenly get pain shooting into your buttocks or legs, you probably hurt a disc. Drop the load, put ice packs on your back to limit the pain/swelling then call us for help.
  1. Using poor lifting technique. Use good body mechanics such as:
  • Avoid bending from your waist to lift even light things. Instead, keep your back straight, bend those knees to lift with your legs.
  • Twisting while lifting or holding weight can hurt a spinal disc. Keep the weight in front of you. Use your feet to turn, not your back.
  • Lifting from a bent and twisted position can injure spinal discs. Determine if there some way you can lift what you need without being twisted.
  • Leaning forward from your waist and lifting things with arms away from your body really increases stress on your back and shoulders. Move what you are lifting close to your body before lifting it.
  • To lift  from the trunk of a car, scoot the object close to the back of the trunk, brace your knees against the back of the car and then lift.
  1. Lifting without warming up first: think shoveling snow.
    • It is good to stretch or walk around awhile before doing repetitive lifting.
    • Easiest way to warm up for lifting : do the movement with light weight for a set before lifting the heavier weights or before doing the heavier snow shoveling.
  1. Holding your breath when lifting and bearing down puts pressure on spinal discs. It is good to suck in your stomach because your abdominal muscles can help support your spine, but don’t hold your breath to do it.
  1. Having weak or tight spinal muscles or stuck spinal joints make it more likely to suffer an injury when lifting.
    • Keep your back in shape by doing the special core spinal stabilization exercises we can show you. Hint: this is not sit ups or other gym machine exercises. Keeping your back healthy every day will limit injuries.
    • As you know, regular chiropractic adjustments go a long way towards limiting back injuries and keeping your back healthy.

If it has been awhile since your last adjustment, give us a call at 978-535-6155 to schedule a convenient appointment today.