Is There A Problem?
In the United States alone, about 6 million people are injured each year at their workplace. Out of these injuries, over 1 million of them result in back problems, making it the number one occupational injury in the country. Most of these back injuries are due to improper lifting techniques.
What Kind of Back Injuries Result From Improper Lifting?
The top two injuries related to improper lifting techniques are muscle/ligament strains or ruptured/bulging discs.
Can Back Belts Help Prevent Back Injuries?
Unfortunately, there is a lack of scientific evidence that back belts work. They can help, but they will not prevent back injuries when improper lifting techniques are engaged.
Correct Lifting Position and Technique in 10 Steps
Step 1: Plan ahead before lifting. Always know your route. Are you going to have to open a door? Are you going to use stairs? Is the floor slippery?
Step 2: Feet should be shoulder-width apart. Keep a wide base of support. Feet too narrow will give you balance problems. Feet too wide will make it harder to squat.
Step 3: Bend your knees and keep your back straight. Squat! Do not bend. Always use your legs to do the lifting.
Step 4: Tighten your stomach muscles. Keep good posture. This will help you keep your back straight. Tightening your stomach muscles and using your core when lifting will help take pressure off your back muscles and help prevent a back injury.
Step 5: Lift with your legs. Slowly lift with your legs. Do not bend over to avoid a back injury.
Step 6: Lift close to your body. Hold the load close to your body. It will prevent you from bending.
Step 7: Keep your eyes up. It will help you maintain good posture and prevent you from bending.
Step 8: Don’t twist or bend. Always use your feet to change direction. Do not twist or bend while lifting.
Step 9: If you are straining, get help. Do not try to be a hero. If it’s too heavy, get someone to help.
Step 10: Set down. Steps 1-9 in reverse. Keeping good posture, squat and set the load down.
What if I have a bad/weak leg?
If you can’t squat because of a weak leg, you can modify the proper lifting technique and lunge.
Treatment For Back Injuries
If you’ve injured back trying lift something heavy and weren’t using your legs properly, we have many chiropractic treatments to help heal your back injury.