Lifting is one of the most common causes of mechanical back pain so it is important to minimize the strain on the back when lifting. Here are some simple rules to follow:
- Always lift objects within your limitations.
- Ask for assistance if the object to be lifted is awkward or heavy.
- Adopt a wide firm stance with your legs apart.
- Bend your knees, keeping your back straight, look up when you lift, this helps to straighten your spine.
- Before you lift, pull your stomach muscles in to stabalize the spine with your core and abdominal muscles.
- Keep the lifted object close to you.
- Never lift objects above head height, use a ladder if necessary.
- Avoid twisting when holding a heavy object, especially if the spine is bent forwards.
- Lift smoothly and avoid jerking the object.
- Avoid lifting after prolonged sitting or early in the morning.
Carrying shopping and loading it into a car may seem like a simple task, but problems can arise because the shopping is often heavy or awkward. Also, lifting, turning and then reaching to place bags into the car can over stress your back.
- Use a shallow shopping trolley to avoid bending to lift heavy bags.
- Push your trolley and pull your stomach muscles in whilst pushing.
- Carry equal amounts of shopping in each hand.
- Divide shopping into a larger number of lighter bags.
- Avoid twisting your body while carrying or lifting.
- Walk the back of the trolley around a corner rather than trying to swing the front of the trolley using your arms and torso.