Dr. Bell's Blog

Lifting: Are You Doing it Right?

Lifting various objects is something all of us do every day.  The biggest misconception is that you can only hurt yourself while lifting something heavy.  Not true.  The vast majority of lifting injuries I see at the office often involve fairly light objects.  Do you know why?  Because the vast majority of people that are lifting heavy objects are very conscious of their technique while doing it and take extra precaution.  When it comes to lifting everyday household items, many become careless in there approach and can get themselves in trouble.  Here are a few simple tips to help you minimize the chance of injury:

1. Bend Your Knees:  Most know this one, but it is the one most frequently broken when the object appears light.  Always bend your knees to get down to the level of the object that you are lifting.  This will allow you to use your legs to lift, and not just your back.

2.  Keep The Weight Close To Your Body:  The closer you can keep a heavy object to your body, the more you will engage your entire core muscles to perform the lift and therefore will be more stable.

3.  Tighten Stomach Muscles:  Tightening your abdominal muscles will hold your back in good lifting position and help avoid excessive load on your spine.

4.  DON'T Twist:  NEVER twist while carrying or lifting a heavy object.  This is a sure way to create a severe injury.  Face in the direction you are walking.  If you have to turn, stop, and take small steps.

5.  Get Help:  Last, but not least, if the object is too heavy to lift alone be sure to ask for help.  Never feel bad about getting assistance when trying to lift something that is just too heavy for you...your back will thank you.

One of the best ways to help prevent injuries from happening is through creating and maintaining a healthy and strong spine and nervous system.  Regular chiropractic check-ups are crucial for people of all ages to help not only maintain a strong structural integrity of your spine, but also to ensure proper nervous system function for a happy, healthy life.