Proper Lifting Tips And Techniques To Prevent Back Pain

how important is proper lifting

While there are various reasons why most people suffer from lower back pain, understanding the cause and taking precautions can reduce the pain and discomfort that you feel. Pain in your lower back can gradually affect your lifestyle, routine, and mobility. 

One of the significant issues associated with the discomfort you may not be aware of is lifting objects in your daily routine. Improper lifting can cause pain and injury in your spine. It can add pressure and stress to your muscles, bones and affect your health over time. 

How should you lift an object? Are there guidelines you need to remember before bending over and carrying a load? Should you consider alternative options to prevent this discomfort and alleviate pain? Are there expert tips and techniques to safely carry objects?

The question goes on and on, and there are effective techniques to reduce back pain associated with your daily routine. Read along and learn more.

How Important is Proper Lifting?

proper lifting technique

Did you know that lifting heavy materials and items is a leading cause of injuries in every workplace? According to recent studies, over 40% of injuries involve missing work days due to pain and discomfort in the back and shoulder due to injuries. Cumulative trauma and overexertion are the leading cause of injuries. 

This included improper bending, twisting, or turning, which leads to pain in the lower back. Sprains and strains from improper lifting or carrying heavy loads are general hazards for manual transportation of materials or items in the workplace. 

Regardless of whether you’re an employee doing regular household chores, practicing smart lifting can prevent and reduce the risk of suffering from muscle pulls, back sprains, elbow or wrist injuries, spine injuries, and more. All of these issues are the cause of improper lifting of heavy items. 

Exercising proper lifting reduces the expected risk of injury, especially spine problems. There are various lifting principles and techniques to help mitigate potential damage and back pain

Proper lifting is always overlooked in the workspace but must be stressed frequently. Since most people rush to finish tasks, we often compromise essential factors resulting in life-long injuries with unsafe ways of lifting heavy items. 

Effective ways to ensure you won’t stress too much pressure on your back may cause back pain or injury. Stretching programs can help prepare your body for the day’s work. You can also provide safety reminders of proper lifting to ensure everyone will be careful and mindful of their actions. 

There are safety tips and techniques you can work on to prevent potential injury not just in your workplace but even at home or while doing daily routines. Planning and prevention can reduce the risk of back pain and injuries associated with improper lifting. 

Proper Lifting Principles

  • Preparation

Before you lift any object, you need to carefully plan the process and think of the following factors: the load’s weight or how awkward the burden would be. Is it possible to lift it manually, or do you need to use mechanical help such as a hand truck or another hand to support the action? If not, can you break the weight of the item into smaller portions? 

When lifting an item, you should reconsider where you will place the article, the potential obstructions, and the path surface. Take note whether you’ll encounter uneven surface, slippery or wet areas, stairs, and overhangs. Don’t forget to check if you’ll need to open a door or not.

  • Lifting Process 

When lifting an object, ensure its closeness to your body. Keep elbows and your arms close to support the weight that you’ll be carrying. If you feel the pressure on the load, you can put it down for a while and rest. 

  • Carrying Objects

When you carry an object, never turn or twist your body. Instead, try moving your feet if you need to turn. Remember that your shoulder, hips, knees, and toes must face a similar direction at all times. 

  • Setting Down The Items

When setting down the item, ensure that you place it down to the same motion as when you lift it up but in reverse mode. You can bend your knees and not your hips. 

Safety Techniques When Lifting Objects

woman holding a barbell on her back

Once you have a complete understanding of the safety principles of lifting, you’ll be more aware of your actions and prevent potential injuries. Here are safety lifting techniques that must be followed at all times, at home, or in your workspace. 

  • Before you lift any object, you need to assess first what you are going to raise and where you will place it. Recognizing the weight of an item and knowing where to put it can help you plan your activity smartly. If you think an object is too heavy for you, always ask for support or an extra hand to lighten up the load. 
  • Ensure that the pathway is clear of any obstructions to reach your destination safely. There must be zero hazards or potential items that can cause you to trip over or fall.
  • To lift any object safely, ensure it’s close to your body. It allows you to balance yourself and reduce strain into the muscles.
  • If you’ll need to bend down to carry the item, keep your back straight and never bend to reach the thing. Use your hips and legs to lower yourself, aligning the object. Turning with your waist can significantly damage your spine and cause back pain or injury.
  • Use your hand and measure its angled forward to put it into the side of an item or object that is far from you.
  • Once you have a comfortable and firm grip on the object, focus on the item, and tighten your grip while keeping your back straight when lifting the object with hips and legs. Keep the thing close to you and look forward while extending your legs.

Things You Need To Avoid When Lifting

man holding his back in pain

With the essential principles and safety techniques associated with lifting any object, you also need to prevent it along the process. By avoiding unsafe actions can reduce your risk of injury and back pain.

  • Holding your breath when lifting an object is a no-no. It’s best to exhale when you lift the object.
  • Never bend or twist your waist when lifting or carrying a heavy item. If you need to turn, you can turn slowly using your feet.
  • Always use your two hands when lifting an object and avoid partial grip. 
  • Don’t block your vision when carrying an object. Lift items from your midsection to the chest to ensure you’ll have a visual of your way.
  • If at your workplace, always use protective equipment like gloves and shoulder pads to navigate the load’s weight.

Understanding the benefits of proper lifting and reducing pain, discomfort, and injury is vital. With adequate lifting, you can strengthen your muscle group and mitigate the potential risk of life-long injuries, especially on your back. Regardless if you lift weights to improve your muscle or doing it as part of your job, proper lifting is vital to your overall health. 

Improper lifting can damage your muscle, result in serious back issues, tears, joint pain, and more. Some of these injuries require weeks, months, or years of healing. If you’ll severely damage your muscle or cause injuries, it can take all your life dealing with the effect of improper lifting practice. 

With proper lifting exercise, you can reduce the risk of these life-long injuries, preventing you from functioning effectively. 

You may want to reconsider the following steps when lifting.

1. Maintain a more extensive base support

Practice karate stance or the correct balance when lifting heavy objects. The steps allow you to maintain better support before you raise an item. 

2. Squat

If you need to lift the object from the floor, squat as close to the item as possible. Bend your knees and hips with the buttocks out. In case you are lifting a heavy object, you can bend one knee from the floor. 

3. Maintain a good posture.

When you’re about to lift the object, make sure you maintain your good posture. Keep your back straight, chest out, and shoulder back. A poor posture leads to back injuries, migraines, heart issues, and low levels of energy. 

4. Lift items slowly and never bend forward.

Check the weight of the item you’re lifting if it won’t stress your back or muscles. Breathe out when lifting and never twist you or bend your body when lifting. 

5. Hold the items close to the body.

Don’t lift heavy items above your shoulders and maintain an adequate power zone level. 

6. Change direction with your feet.

In case you need to switch your direction, never turn or twist your body but use your feet when changing your approach. 

7. Slowly set objects down.

When you reach your destination, slowly set the items down by squatting only with your hips and knees. 

Practicing proper lifting techniques can prevent lower back pain and injuries that can have a lifelong effect on your lifestyle and routine. With these tips and techniques in your mind, you can avoid potential hazards and risks that can affect your life quality. 

man getting his back checked out

How a Chiropractor Can Help You

Chiropractic care can do more than just help you get relief from lower back pain and muscle strain caused by lifting. It will also improve your overall health and well-being. If you’re looking for a reputable chiropractic clinic to address various injuries, O’Dell Family Chiropractic is here to help. 

O’Dell Family Chiropractic provides specialty chiropractic care for various conditions using the latest technology in chiropractic practice and following a holistic approach in treating injuries. 

Chiropractors from O’Dell Family Chiropractic are some of the best in the industry, helping patients maintain the ideal spinal health and live a pain-free lifestyle by providing personalized treatment for each person that walks through their doors.



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