Improper lifting technique can cause neck, shoulder, and back pain, and possibly even more serious injuries.
Learning the proper way to lift will help you minimize the risk of pain and injury.
- Plan ahead before lifting heavy objects. Make sure you have a clear path. This will help you avoid any awkward or sudden movements that can strain your muscles.
- Test an object's weight before lifting by pushing it with your foot. If it seems too heavy, ask for help.
- Lift with your legs, not with your back. Don't lean over an object to lift it. Face the object you intend to lift and avoid twisting. Instead, stand close to the object, bend your legs and keep your back straight, then lift.
- Keep feet shoulder-width apart and maintain your balance by distributing the object's weight equally on both sides of your body.
- Don't be a hero. If an object is too heavy or awkward, ask for help. Instead of carrying stacks of smaller boxes that might shift or fall during the carrying process, make multiple trips.
If a back injury does occur, seek help from a physical therapist. What starts as a minor back injury can progress to a chronic condition without early intervention.
Physical therapists are movement experts. They improve quality of life through hands-on care, patient education, and prescribed movement. You can contact a physical therapist directly for an evaluation. To find a physical therapist in your area, visit Find a PT.