Our bodies have the amazing ability of adapting to a variety of situations and tasks. However, we need to be careful not to push our bodies to the breaking point. Whether we realize it or not lifting and carrying heavy objects are a part of our every day routine. For some this may entail lifting boxes, loading or unloading heavy objects from a car, or even carrying a baby. Repetitive activities such as bending, lifting, carrying, pushing, and pulling heavy loads can lead to overexertion and injury. The best medicine for any injury is prevention. With proper skills and techniques, you can reduce your risk of injury from everyday tasks.
Lifting heavy objects with poor lifting techniques is one of the main causes of back injuries. The following are preventive measures that can be taken to prevent injury.
- When lifting, keep your back relaxed and straight. Keep your legs hip-width apart with a slight bend to the knees. Head and shoulders should be kept directly above your waist. Twisting should always be avoided.
- Avoid bending from the waist. This places excess stress on the back. Avoid keeping your knees straight and locked.
- Weight should be carried as close to your body as possible. Try to keep your elbows bent and at your side to minimize back stress.
- Always keep back straight when carrying objects. Avoid hunching over or leaning back.
- When putting any weight down, place it on something that is waist height rather than on the floor.
Loading and unloading techniques
Loading and unloading objects can mean things to different people. For some this may mean moving furniture on and off a van, and for others carrying heavy groceries to and from the car. The following are techniques to prevent injury when loading and unloading heavy objects.
- If you have been sitting for in a car/van for a long period of time, take some time to loosen and stretch your muscles prior to lifting anything heavy (ie. Short walk, stretch).
- Always load the lighter objects further into the car/van to avoid strenuous pushing or pulling when you reach your destination.
- Large objects can be difficult to carry. When possible, break loads into smaller and more manageable chunks.
- Avoid lifting and twisting.
- Take it easy. Don’t try to lift multiple bags/boxes at once.
Proper technique to carrying a baby
Individuals who take care of children are constantly bending, lifting, and carrying their little ones. Knowing how to protect your back when placing a child into their crib or car seat can be the difference between an annoying back injury and a pain-free lifestyle.
- Always hold your baby as close to your body as possible when carrying them to the car seat or crib. This keeps the child’s weight close to your center of gravity.
- Back should always be straight when carrying a child, avoid hunching over or leaning back.
- When placing a child into a crib or car seat, bend your knees only when you are as close as possible to the car seat or crib. After bending your knees, then you reach out to place the child in their car seat/crib.
- Avoid bending from the waist.
If you are suffering from an injury caused by constantly lifting and carrying heavy objects, consider a consult with a chiropractic doctor Shawnee KS trusts who can offer the proper therapy and care to help ease your pain. Proper lifting and carrying techniques can also be further discussed along with a specific therapy plan.
Thank you to our friends and contributors at LifeWorks for their insight about proper lifting and carrying techniques, as well as alternative medicine.