You will avoid back injury and pain when you learn and use proper lifting techniques. If you already have back pain, you will relieve it by doing all necessary lifting or carrying the right way.
Many parents, grandparents, and daycare workers injure their backs simply by improper lifting of children. They bend over to lift a child from the floor or ground, and sharp back pain attacks. Others incur back pain by lifting or moving furniture. Some lift machinery or other heavy objects in the wrong way, and may even incur chronic back pain as a result of poor lifting techniques.
Lifting techniques are not difficult. Once you learn the simple system below, and use it consistently, you will avoid serious back injury.
Lifting Techniques: The 8-Step System
Follow these eight simple lifting techniques for good back health.
1. Plan to lift. First, decide what you are going to do. Think about what you will lift and where you will go with it. This will prevent awkward, unexpected movements while holding the object. If you are moving something to a different location, clear a path. If you are working with a second person, agree on your plan. Be sure both use good lifting techniques.
2. Hug the object. Hugging the object close to your body will give you stability, and make you stronger. Get a firm hold on the object, pull it close to your body, and keep it balanced there.
3. Plant your feet. Place your feet firmly under you, placing them about as far apart as your shoulders are. This will give you the most solid support base for lifting. As you move, take short steps.
4. Bend knees / straighten back. Take time to practice the lifting motion the way a golfer practices a swing before hitting the ball. Focus on keeping your back straight as you bend your knees to stoop and lift.
5. Tighten your stomach. Tight stomach muscles will hold your back in the proper position and prevent excess force on your spell.
6. Lift with legs. Use the greater strength of your leg muscles instead of your weaker back muscles. Bend your knees, not your back, as you lower yourself to lift. Look forward to keep your back straight.
7. Get help. Think of your back, not your ego. If the object is so heavy or awkward that you feel strain, get someone to help.
8. Use a back support. If you lift regularly on the job or around the home, you will benefit very much from a back belt or back support (affiliate link). You will support your lower back and maintain better lifting posture. Of all lifting techniques, this one is vital for workers.
Lifting techniques can be summed up by remembering four phrases: straight back; close hug; no twisting; and eyes upward. Master these and you will lift properly.