One of the commonest causes of back injury is handling of lifting objects incorrectly. Learning and following the correct technique for handling and lifting can help to prevent injury and avoid back pain.
Think before you lift.
- Plan where the load is going to be placed, and remove any obstructions such as discarded wrapping materials.
- When lifting from a low to high position consider resting the load mid way on a table or bench to change your grip on it.
Adopt a stable position
- Lifting with a broad base (feet hip distance apart) will give you more stability. You can achieve better balance by moving one leg slightly forward.
- Be prepared to move your feet during the lift in order to maintain a stable posture.
Keep the load close to the body
- Keep the load close to the waist for as long as possible while lifting. Load on the spine and associated muscles increases the further away from the body the load is held.
Don’t bend your back when lifting
- Avoid bending from the waist or twisting when you lift as this increases the stress on your lower back.
- A slight bending of the back hips and knees (full squat) is preferable to fully bending from the back (stoop).
- Don’t jerk or snatch the move as it is much harder to control the lift, increasing the risk of injury.
Know your limits
- Don’t try and lift more than you are capable of. Try to split the load into smaller, more manageable chunks where possible. If this is not possible, ask for help with the lift.
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