I was reading this blog post today; what grabbed my attention is the title: Happy Holidays Means a Happy Back, Lakeville, MN chiropractor. Ryan Betzina DC of Absolute Health mentions that during these busy holiday season sometimes we completely forget ourselves. Lifting that heavy frozen turkey, awkward packages, and items such as firewood can cause additional stress on our spine if you’re not using the proper lifting techniques.
When lifting, keep in mind the single most important rule to avoid back pain – Never Lift with Your Back! Here are some other considerations when lifting:
- Always maintain good posture with your eyes straight ahead. Often your body will follow your line of vision.
- Alignment, stay in line with your spine. Your hips and your shoulders should be in alignment when you go to move.
- Squat using your hips and legs only; avoid turning and twisting your body (improper turning and twisting is a recipe for disaster)
- Hold the item close to your body. The object should be positioned somewhere around your belly button. Lifting items above your shoulder level. Often overlooked is the subject of lifting properly to avoid neck problems.
- Wide and low, use your feet to lead the way. Take small steps to change your direction. Positioning your legs with wide stance will help to keep you stable.
- Slow and careful, lift the item slowly so you don’t lose that proper form. The movement should be controlled so you can simply place the object down.
- Make sure you have a good grip, use lifting gloves.
- Test the weight of the object before lifting anything.
- If you can’t safely lift that object by yourself, recruit a friend.
- If it’s determined that you and your friend can’t lift that object, use doilies, a cart, or power lift equipment. Or better yet call a professional mover.
If you’re not sure how to lift properly remember to consult with your chiropractor, a personal trainer or an ergonomic specialist. These professionals study the structure and function of the human body. There are many videos on the internet that demonstrate proper lifting; however, working with a professional one-on-one removes the guess-work.
If you can’t safely lift a heavy load by yourself – doubt means don’t.