Lifting Techniques for Low Back Safety

As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. This remains true when dealing with injuries and ailments to the lower back. I’ve seen many patients that are required to lift heavy items all day and every day. For them, safe lifting techniques are imperative. However, this is just as important for the office manager, lawyer, or IT professional that may happen to be moving a piece of furniture on the weekend. The following are lifting techniques that I’ve taught to my patients individually, and to groups through workshops and lectures:

  1. Bend at the knees and the hips when lifting something off of the floor. Avoid bending or twisting at the waist.
  2. Keep whatever you’re lifting as close to your body as possible. The further away you hold an object, the more force it will put on your joints, including your spine.
  3. Keep the spine straight. Do this instead of being hunched over. The more you can straighten the spine, the less strain you’ll be putting on the discs in your back.
  4. Abdominal hollow. This is a technique used to protect the spine when lifting heavy items. The abdominal, pelvic, and lower back muscles are your core muscles. They make up your “anatomical weight belt.” Tighten your abdominals by bringing your belly button as close to your spine as possible while still breathing.

Although it’s impossible to avoid all lower back injuries, these techniques will help. Equally as important are regular exercise, proper nutrition, and being close to your ideal weight. We’ll save these topics for future blog entries.

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InLine Chiropractic
1716 Erringer Road #100
Simi Valley, CA 93065
(805) 581-8053