As much as 80% of
the adult population will experience lower back injuries over their lifetimes.
These injuries are usually by improper lifting techniques and overuse. By using
proper lifting techniques along with stretching and strengthening exercises, you
can reduce the risk of back injury.
There are many
techniques used in lifting and carrying objects that can support your back and
prevent injury. However, the best technique for lifting is the diagonal lift.
Your feet are apart, with one foot slightly ahead of the other. This gives you a
wide base of support, providing more stability, more energy and more power. Bend
your knees and squat down; keep your back arched and your head up while lifting.
This position allows more power to come from the larger muscles of the legs and
keeps the weight off your back.
When lifting and
carrying, keep objects close to the body. The farther from the body you carry an
object, the more stress you place on your back. Do not rush or jerk as you lift
and do not twist or side bend. These bad habits apply more stress on your back,
especially during repetitive lifts and will cause serious injury later.
objects, use correct posture – stand up straight. Do not stoop or walk in a
bent-over posture. Carry most of the load to the front and close to the body,
but when carrying for long distances, support the load on your shoulder. If the
object is too heavy, get help.
Although nothing can
totally prevent an accident from happening, using the proper lifting and
carrying techniques, as well as maintaining an exercise and stretching program,
will reduce your chances of getting hurt. Also, before you begin any exercise
program, have your doctor perform a physical examination to rule any possible