Correct Lifting Technique

March News 2015

Correct Lifting Technique

Lifting injuries are a common cause of back pain. You can protect yourself against damage with good lifting technique, both at home and at work.

When you lift, your spine is put under stress. Twisting or jerking while lifting and carrying can injure the small joints of the spine. The discs which separate the vertebrae (spinal bones) and the ligaments which hold the vertebrae together are also at risk.

Lifting while bent forward will increase the stress on your spine. Contributing to this stress are factors like the weight of the load, how far it is held from your body, how often and how fast you lift and how long you hold the load.

To protect your spine from injury, always attempt to take the following steps:

  1. Bend your hips and knees instead of bending at the waist. This allows the leg muscles to take the load and not the spine.
  2. Get a firm footing with your feet apart for a stable base.
  3. Tighten your abdominal muscles. Abdominal muscles support the spine when lifting.
  4. Ensure that the load is as close to you as possible and you have a strong grip.
  5. Breathe normally through the lift. It’s important to brace yourself but not hold your breath.
  6. The closer it is to your spine the less force it places on your back.
  7. Lift steadily and do not jerk the load. Don’t look at the ground; look straight in front of you.
  8. Avoid twisting or bending while carrying the load.
  9. When placing the object down put your feet as you did to lift, tighten stomach muscles and bend your hips and knees.