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A Friendly PSA: Remember How To Lift

We despair at the number of spinal injuries which could have been avoided

Case-in-point: the simple act of lifting. We all know to lift with our legs and hips rather than our backs, yet so many of us persist, out of sheer laziness or ignorance, in bending over and lifting with our backs. But take it from back pain sufferers: bending forward (flexion) is one of the most painful motions to begin with, and when you add the lifting of weight into that scenario it can be downright impossible. It increases the amount of overall compression on our spines and strains the supportive musculature to the max. This should tell us that we need to be careful when lifting. In case you forgot, here’s how to lift properly:

Proper lifting technique

  1. Squat down close to the object 
  2. Get a good grasp on the object, taking care to keep your chest facing forward.
  3. If you need to stand up, use the power of your legs to propel yourself upward.
  4. Bear the weight close to your body.

Take special care to keep your chest forward- this means that your spine is staying as straight as possible throughout the motion, minimizing compression and the risk for injury. Don’t cause yourself unnecessary injury- take the extra 5-10 seconds to perform a proper lift and your back will thank you! 

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Gregory Lind

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