Whenever you’re lifting something heavy, it’s important to use proper lifting technique to reduce the possibility of injury. This is especially important if you work in an environment where lifting is something you do frequently throughout the day. Proper technique makes it repeatable and safe.
Here’s a quick overview of how to lift things correctly so you can stay safe, healthy and active:
- Avoid bending forward: It’s a natural tendency for us to bend forward while trying to lift items. However, this places a lot of undue strain on your lower back, which could result in a sudden injury when you try to lift a heavy item, or a repetitive motion injury if you frequently try to lift with your back. The better technique is to squat with your knees to pick up the object, and then use your core leg muscles to lift the item straight up.
- Know how to turn: Once you’ve got the object you’re lifting up and off the ground, you should avoid twisting or turning your body. The weight of the object you’re holding could result in pulled muscles or other injuries if you try to twist with it, especially if it’s a particularly heavy item. This doesn’t mean you can’t turn at all—you simply need to know how to do so correctly. Pivot your feet to turn instead of trying to bend, twist or turn your body.
- Hold the object properly: Whenever you’re lifting something, you should try your best to keep the object at chest level. Try not to lift a heavy object over your shoulders. If you must bring the object up to an elevated area, such as a shelf, you should make sure to use the proper equipment for the job. Consider using a forklift or another type of equipment that will make it easy for you to get a heavy object up to where you need to store it.
- Ask for help if you need it: If you have larger, heavier items that are difficult or nearly impossible to pick up or hold by yourself, you should make sure to ask for help. There are specific techniques for partner lifting you can employ that will reduce the amount of weight you have to carry and will make lifting the object safer. One person may be walking backwards, depending on where and how you need to carry the item. Just make sure you have a clear path before you begin so you do not accidentally trip over any items or debris.
Using proper lifting technique when you are lifting heavy objects will help you avoid back injuries, muscle strains and other potential ailments, allowing you to continue performing your everyday tasks without interruption or pain.
To learn more about how to lift things correctly and why it’s so important that you practice good lifting technique every time you lift a heavy object, contact the experts at Focus Forward Wellness & Physical Therapy. We regularly work with people experiencing back pain and can help you achieve proper lifting form.
Categorised in: Back Pain
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