By Dr. Kelly Herta, DC
Back injuries are one of the leading causes of doctors visits every year. In fact back injuries account for about one in every five job-related injuries in California. Disabling back injuries are no laughing matter, due to lost time from work and from personal activities. But the sad truth is that most of the pain and lost time can been prevented by educating yourself on how to lift safely to protect your back.
Proper methods of lifting protect against injury, and make work easier. As you begin to utilize proper lifting techniques you will notice that the correct way to lift is the easiest way to lift the load, with the least strain and awkwardness for your back.
Following are the basics steps of safe lifting:
- Don’t attempt to lift by yourself if the load appears to be too heavy or awkward.
- Feet should be shoulder width apart, with one foot beside and the other foot behind the object that is to be lifted.
- Bend the knees; don’t stoop. Keep the back straight while keeping the chest forward.
- Grip the load with the palms of your hands and your fingers. Tuck in the chin to make certain your back is straight before starting to lift.
- Use your body weight to start the load moving, lead with the hips not the shoulders then lift by pushing up with the legs using the strong leg muscles, not the weaker back muscles.
- Keep the arms and elbows close to the body while lifting.
- Carry the load close to the body. Don’t twist your body while carrying the load. To change direction, shift your foot position and turn your whole body.
- Watch where you are going!
- To lower the object, bend the knees. Don’t stoop. To place the load on a bench or shelf, place it on the edge and push it into position. Make sure your hands and feet are clear when placing the load.
In order to save your back from a disabling back injury make it a habit to follow the above steps when lifting anything, even a relatively light object.
For more information, Dr. Kelly Herta, DC at Aligned Health Chiropractic & Wellness Center. 27875 Smyth Dr. # 100, (661)295-5200.