Playing It Safe - Eliminate Back Pain

Playing It Safe: Eliminate Back Pain

Jack Wingate

The Best Way To Eliminate Back Pain: Use Proper Lifting Techniques

Lifting is such a common activity that people often forget that there is a right way to do it. In fact, lower back injuries are the most common work-related injury (and Workers Compensation Claim)and can cause a lifetime of pain. Learning to lift properly today will help you to avoid back pain tomorrow.

Use Proper Lifting Techniques

  • Use gloves to lift rough equipment.
  • Clear away any potential obstacles before beginning to carry an object.
  • Get a good grip and good footing. Use your hands, not your fingers, to grip the load, and position your feet so that one foot is next to the load and one is behind it.
  • Get under the load by bending your knees, not your back. Bending at the waist to reach for the object strains back, shoulder and neck muscles, and can cause serious injury.
  • Keep the load close to your body.
  • Never twist your body when you are lifting. Turn your entire body by using your feet.
  • Do not lift above the shoulders or below waist level.

Size Up The Load To Eliminate Back Pain

Before lifting an object, check its weight. Decide if you can handle it alone or if you need assistance. When in doubt, ask for help. Moving an object that is too heavy or bulky can cause severe injury. As a general rule, most men should not lift more than 37 pounds and most women should not lift more than 28 pounds. If a particular load is heavier than you can handle, do the following:

  • Get someone to help.
  • Break it down into smaller loads if possible.
  • Use dollies or lifts as aids. These tools are for heavy lifting.

Team Lifting Can Help Eliminate Back Pain

When others are helping you lift, teamwork is very important. If you’re going to be carrying the load to another point, both of you should coordinate this prior to lifting the object. Check the route and clearance. One worker needs to be in a position to observe and direct the other. Lifting and lowering should be done in unison. Don’t let the load drop suddenly without warning your partner.

Get Fit!

People who are in poor physical condition are at greater risk for back problems. A conditioning program that includes aerobics, weight training, and stretching exercises will help you prepare your body for the rigors of lifting