Bend at the Knees and Don’t Jerk or Twist: A Brief Guide to Proper Lifting

At one point or another, every one of us has probably gone to lift or move something heavy, only to feel pain in our backs. Improper lifting is one of the most common causes of back pain, whether it’s due to a minor muscle sprain that clears up overnight or a much more severe problem with the spine and discs.

Of course, the solution to this problem is not to avoid lifting things altogether; it’s to learn how to lift with the proper form, so your body is supported in the ways it needs to be to avoid injury. At Ideal Spine, we teach chiropractors how to coach their clients in proper posture to mitigate back pain and reduce the risk of injury.

There are many dangers to lifting improperly. Muscle strains, or tiny tears in the muscle due to stress, are some of the most common injuries. However, other problems may develop if you lift improperly often, such as herniated or bulging discs and injured joints.

Use this lifting form to mitigate injury risks

The first thing to remember while lifting is to only try to lift things you feel comfortable with. If you have to strain and push yourself to lift something, it’s probably too heavy for you, and you won’t be able to maintain proper form during the lift.

When going to lift something, always avoid bending at the hips, rounding or arching your back, and pulling with your back. These mistakes are some of the easiest ways to sprain a muscle, wear down your spinal discs, or injure yourself in other ways, since you’re putting all of the pressure of the weight onto your back.

The most important tip when lifting is to bend at the knees into a squat position and keep the spine straight. This puts the weight of the lift onto your legs, not your back.

When attempting to lift, place your feet shoulder-width apart firmly on the ground. Bend your knees to squat and pick up the object, focusing on keeping your spine as straight as possible. Tightening your abs and pushing with your legs will help you maintain this posture.

Keep the object close to your body with a firm hold and maintain proper balance of the object in your hands. Stand up slowly – don’t jerk upwards too fast. Make sure the lift is a smooth, slow, and controlled motion until you are standing tall again.

You don’t want to twist while lifting the object, either. Stand straight up, then pivot with your feet to walk where you need to. Twisting prematurely may put pressure on certain parts of your spine.

When you need to put the object down, follow the same pattern of lifting movements in reverse. Stand firmly and squat, bending your knees to gently place the object on the ground. Avoid dropping the object quickly or bending with your hips and back.

Speak with a chiropractor for back pain advice

Even with proper lift form 100 percent of the time, back pain can still develop. If you’re experiencing back pain, waste no time in visiting a chiropractor trained in Chiropractic BioPhysics (CBP), a holistic approach to spinal health care by Ideal Spine.

Chiropractic BioPhysics® corrective care trained Chiropractors are located throughout the United States and in several international locations. CBP providers have helped thousands of people throughout the world realign their spine back to health, and eliminate a source of chronic back pain, chronic neck pain, chronic headaches and migraines, fibromyalgia, and a wide range of other health conditions. If you are serious about your health and the health of your loved ones, contact a CBP trained provider today to see if you qualify for care. The exam and consultation are often FREE. See www.CBPpatient.com for providers in your area.