If you lift heavy items as part of your daily routine, you may be susceptible to back injury. However, that’s not the only way people can injure their back. In fact, it’s not uncommon for back injuries to occur during your regular routine while performing seemingly simple and easy tasks.
As a Maple Grove chiropractor, we not only focus on musculoskeletal conditions after an injury has occurred, but we also educate our patients in an effort to help reduce the chances of sustaining an injury in the first place.
This post shares tips to help improve your technique so you don’t suffer a back injury when lifting.
Bend Primarily at the Hips and Knees to Avoid Back Injury
Improving your lifting technique starts with learning how to bend and use proper lifting posture. Unfortunately, proper lifting technique is not something we’ve all necessarily been taught. This general lack of knowledge can leave us susceptible to injury when performing an otherwise simple lifting task.
We should start by bending at both the hips and the knees. Your knees should be pointed straight ahead or possibly slightly outward to reduce stress on the knee joints and avoid injury. As you lift, keep the weight close to your body and lift by straightening your knees and hinging at the hips to stand up. During this lifting motion, maintain a forward-leaning upper body posture.
Keep the Upper Body Upright and Chest Forward
Bending at the hips with your chest forward and back straight is the best way to avoid back injury when lifting. Keeping the back straight helps maintain a healthy posture, which exerts less pressure on the back.
As you adopt the posture described above, the knees bend automatically, and you naturally use the leg and hip muscles to provide the lifting power you need. This takes the pressure away from the back, helping you avoid injury.
As you carry an object, avoid twisting and turning motions of the spine. Instead, attempt to keep your shoulders aligned with the hips. If you must turn, turn your hips first, then move the shoulders in the same direction. Turning your shoulders first while carrying a heavy load increases the chances of injuring your back and pelvis.
Carry the Weight Close to Your Body
Holding an object closer to your body provides improved support and reduces the force needed to hold it up. This decreased force, reduces the strength needed to lift and hold the object and helps minimize strain and stress on the back.
Additionally, as a general rule, if an object is too wide to fit between your knees as you lift it, it’s probably too heavy to carry on your own. The greater the reach you need to hold an object, the greater the risk for improper lifting technique.
How our Maple Grove Chiropractor Can Help a Back Injury
Even with the best lifting techniques, sometimes you still injure your back. That’s where chiropractic care comes in and can be incredibly effective. Some of the benefits of chiropractic treatment include:
- Minimally invasive method of improving back pain
- Reduces reliance on opioids and steroids to relieve back pain
- Affordable alternative therapy for back pain
- It helps improve posture and athletic performance
If you are suffering from a back injury that’s keeping you from enjoying your everyday life, it’s time to seek medical attention. Before you go for any invasive medical procedures, your best option for affordable, non-invasive, and safe pain relief is chiropractic care. Visit our Maple Grove chiropractor to learn more!