YOUR BEST SELF
Menu 

Safe Lifting Practices

Don’t end up with a hurt back this holiday season – use these tips to keep yourself injury free.

Whether you are getting ready to move, at work, or getting holiday decorations down from the attic, it’s important to lift heavy boxes safely.

ESTABLISH A BASE OF SUPPORT: Use a wide, balanced stance with one foot in front of the other. Make sure that you have firm footing and that your feet are a shoulders-width apart. This staggered stance gives you the stability of not falling over and being able to secure the load.

KEEP YOUR EYES UP: Looking slightly upward will help you maintain a better position of the spine. Keeping your eyes focused upwards helps you keep your back straight.

GET A GOOD GRIP: With your palms and make sure you have an adequate hold on the object. Be certain you will be able to maintain a hold on the object without having to adjust your grip later. You can use gloves to help maintain an adequate grip, but don’t rely on gloves because they can desensitize the fingers and make you unable to feel the object.

LIFT GRADUALLY WITH YOUR LEGS: Without using jerky motions. By using your leg strength, your chance of lower back injury is greatly reduced.

TIGHTEN YOUR STOMACH MUSCLES: As you begin the lift and keep you head and shoulders up.

PIVOT DON’T TWIST: Move your feet in the direction of the lift. This will eliminate the need to twist at the waist.

KEEP THE LOAD CLOSE: Holding a 20 lb. object with your hands 20 inches from the body creates more compressive force on your low back than holding it 10 inches away. This is because the muscles in your back have to work to counterbalance the weight when it is further from the body. As the compressive force on your low back increases, so does the risk of muscle strains, ligament sprains and damage to the disks in the spine.

FREQUENCY: The more times a load is handled, the more tired the muscles become, making it easier for the person to be injured.

TEAM LIFTING: If one person cannot lift or move a heavy, large or awkward object safely, organize a team lift. Team lifting reduces the risk of injury, reduces fatigue and makes the task much easier.

RAISE/LOWER SHELVES: The best zone for lifting is between your shoulders and your waist. Put heavier objects on shelves at waist level, lighter objects on lower or higher shelves.

AVOID LIFTING FROM THE FLOOR: Lifting from the floor can greatly increase your risk of injury for two reasons. Firstly, it is difficult to bring objects close to your body when picking them up from the floor, especially large objects where your knees can get in the way. Secondly, your low back must now support the weights of your upper body as you lean forward, in addition to supporting the weight of the item you are lifting. Lifting the same 20lbs from the floor more than doubles the amount of force on your low back when compared with lifting is from waist height. Even a one pound object lifted from the floor increases you risk of injury if you use a bent over posture.

GET HELP WHEN YOU NEED IT: Don’t try to lift heavy or awkward loads on your own. Even though the muscles in your upper body may be strong enough to handle the load, the muscles, ligaments and disks in your lower back may be injured because of the additional forces they have to withstand. Get help from a co-worker, and whenever possible, use a cart, hand truck or other mechanical device to move the load for you.

button1

 

Categories: Injuries
Tagged In: back, injury, lifting
Posted on November 28, 2016

Upcoming Events & Classes

See More Events

Physical Therapist Tips

If you are just starting to train, or getting back into your regular workout routine this fall after a busy summer it is important to enter your activity safely. A gait analysis can help you enter your sport without pain …

Next
See More Therapist Tips

Latest News

See More Newsletters
Share With Your Friends

Safe Lifting Practices

Don’t end up with a hurt back this holiday season – use these tips to keep yourself injury free.

Whether you are getting ready to move, at work, or getting holiday decorations down from the attic, it’s important to lift heavy boxes safely.

ESTABLISH A BASE OF SUPPORT: Use a wide, balanced stance with one foot in front of the other. Make sure that you have firm footing and that your feet are a shoulders-width apart. This staggered stance gives you the stability of not falling over and being able to secure the load.

KEEP YOUR EYES UP: Looking slightly upward will help you maintain a better position of the spine. Keeping your eyes focused upwards helps you keep your back straight.

GET A GOOD GRIP: With your palms and make sure you have an adequate hold on the object. Be certain you will be able to maintain a hold on the object without having to adjust your grip later. You can use gloves to help maintain an adequate grip, but don’t rely on gloves because they can desensitize the fingers and make you unable to feel the object.

LIFT GRADUALLY WITH YOUR LEGS: Without using jerky motions. By using your leg strength, your chance of lower back injury is greatly reduced.

TIGHTEN YOUR STOMACH MUSCLES: As you begin the lift and keep you head and shoulders up.

PIVOT DON’T TWIST: Move your feet in the direction of the lift. This will eliminate the need to twist at the waist.

KEEP THE LOAD CLOSE: Holding a 20 lb. object with your hands 20 inches from the body creates more compressive force on your low back than holding it 10 inches away. This is because the muscles in your back have to work to counterbalance the weight when it is further from the body. As the compressive force on your low back increases, so does the risk of muscle strains, ligament sprains and damage to the disks in the spine.

FREQUENCY: The more times a load is handled, the more tired the muscles become, making it easier for the person to be injured.

TEAM LIFTING: If one person cannot lift or move a heavy, large or awkward object safely, organize a team lift. Team lifting reduces the risk of injury, reduces fatigue and makes the task much easier.

RAISE/LOWER SHELVES: The best zone for lifting is between your shoulders and your waist. Put heavier objects on shelves at waist level, lighter objects on lower or higher shelves.

AVOID LIFTING FROM THE FLOOR: Lifting from the floor can greatly increase your risk of injury for two reasons. Firstly, it is difficult to bring objects close to your body when picking them up from the floor, especially large objects where your knees can get in the way. Secondly, your low back must now support the weights of your upper body as you lean forward, in addition to supporting the weight of the item you are lifting. Lifting the same 20lbs from the floor more than doubles the amount of force on your low back when compared with lifting is from waist height. Even a one pound object lifted from the floor increases you risk of injury if you use a bent over posture.

GET HELP WHEN YOU NEED IT: Don’t try to lift heavy or awkward loads on your own. Even though the muscles in your upper body may be strong enough to handle the load, the muscles, ligaments and disks in your lower back may be injured because of the additional forces they have to withstand. Get help from a co-worker, and whenever possible, use a cart, hand truck or other mechanical device to move the load for you.

button1

 

Categories: Injuries
Tagged In: back, injury, lifting
Posted on November 28, 2016

Upcoming Events & Classes

See More Events

Physical Therapist Tips

A question therapists get frequently asked is whether to use heat or ice. Here are some general guidelines to help in many scenarios. If you have certain conditions such as fibromyalgia, Reflex Sympathetic Disorder (RSD) …

Next
See More Therapist Tips

Latest News

See More Newsletters
Share With Your Friends

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.