At VitaPhysical we recognise that poor lifting technique can lead to back pain. Poor technique can cause both acute injury, and serious chronic effects. Learning the right way to lift will help you avoid these problems.
Plan ahead before lifting:
Knowing what you’re doing and where you’re going will prevent you from making awkward movements while holding something heavy. Clear a path, and if lifting something with another person, make sure both of you agree on the plan.
Feet shoulder width apart:
A solid base of support and posture is important while lifting. Holding your feet too close together will be unstable, too far apart will hinder movement. Keep your feet about shoulder width apart and take short steps.
Lift close to your body:
You will be a stronger, and more stable if the object is held close to your body rather than at the end of your reach. Make sure you have a firm hold of the object you are lifting, and keep it balanced and close to your body.
Bend your knees and keep your back straight:
Practice the lifting motion before you lift the object, and think about your motion before you lift. Focus on keeping your spine straight – raise and lower to the ground by bending your knees, not your back!
Lift with your legs:
Your legs are many times stronger than your back muscles – let your strength work in your favour. Again, lower to the ground by bending your knees, not your back. Keeping your eyes focused upwards helps to keep your back straight.
Tighten your stomach muscles:
Tightening your abdominal muscles will keep your back in a good lifting position and will help prevent excessive force on the spine.
If you’re straining, get help:
If an object is too heavy, or awkward in shape, make sure you have someone around who can help you lift.
Wear a belt or back support:
If you are lifting in your job or often at home a back belt can help you maintain a better lifting posture.
Don’t twist or bend:
Face in the direction you are walking. If you need to turn, stop, turn in small steps, and then continue walking.
If you are injured through lifting our Jason our Osteopath at VitaPhysical we can help resolve your acute symptoms and also teach exercises to increase the strength and stability of your spine to help prevent future injuries.
For further information and guidance please email or call us on 0191 565 8886.