Back injury is one of the most common types of injury so it is important to learn how to do prevent them through proper lifting.
A common form of back injury is a muscle strain. Getting out of position during lifting can put a great deal of stress on the lower back muscles, and when the demand is too high the muscles can be injured. This injury is due to tiny tears in the muscle.
This type of back injury can be quite painful, making it difficult to move the affected and surrounding area. When a back muscle is strained, it can even be painful to breathe normally. A back strain will typically heal, although it often takes a long time (a few weeks or months).
- Plan ahead before lifting.
Knowing what you’re doing and where you’re going will prevent you from making awkward movements while moving something heavy. Avoid picking up heavy objects that are below your knees or above your shoulders.
- Lift close to your body.
Make sure you have a firm hold on the object you are lifting. Keep it balanced close to your body.
- Feet shoulder width apart.
A solid base of support is important while lifting. Holding your feet too close together will be unstable, too far apart will hinder movement. Keep the feet about shoulder width apart and take short steps.
- Bend your knees and keep your back straight.
Focus on keeping your spine straight–raise and lower to the ground by bending your knees.
- Tighten your stomach muscles.
Tightening your abdominal muscles will hold your back in a good lifting position and will help prevent your spine from twisting.
- Lift with your legs.
Your legs are many times stronger than your back muscles. Lower to the ground by bending your knees, not your back. Keeping your eyes focused upwards helps to keep your back straight.
- If you’re straining, get help.
If an object is too heavy, or awkward in shape, use a mechanical aid or make sure you have someone around who can help.
- Wear a back support.
A back belt can help you maintain a better lifting posture. These are readily available at sporting supply stores or pharmacies.