Back injuries caused as a result of lifting are common, but they can be prevented if you know exactly how to lift. Here is a short guide with steps.
If while lifting heavy weights off the floor, you have been instructed to “mind your back”, there is a good reason behind it. Injured backs are a common result of picking up weights the “wrong” way. Back injuries thus caused tend to be more common after the age of 30 years and so it is important to take adequate precautions.
As a starter, you must try and avoid bending and lifting as much as you can.
Place heavy objects on counters
Avoid putting objects on the floor because in that case, you will have to bend to pick them up. Try to instead place the objects on counters as well as surfaces as often as you can.
Raise the shelves
If the shelves in your home are low, try to build shelves that are above the height of lower shelves. If there is no way you can shift the shelves, try not keeping objects that you use often on these shelves.
If you must bend, make sure you follow these rules while lifting heavy objects to safe guard your back against injury.
- Stand as close to the object as possible. The farther you stand, the more likely you are to suffer injury.
- Spread your feet wide apart.
- Squat all the way down to the object while keeping your feet ground to the floor. Let your legs do all the work without bending from the back or waist.
- If you are lifting something that is big and heavy, place one foot just beside the object and the other behind the foot in front. Then slowly lift the object by gripping it with your fingers and palms and straightening your legs while standing up.
- Ensure that you keep your back straight.
- When you are holding the object, turn the whole body if you wish to change the direction so that you do not bend your waist while carrying the load.
- Follow the above steps in reverse if you are putting an object down.
From now, whenever you have to lift an object, remember that your back is not meant to be used as a lever. So, if you must pick something up, use your legs to do the job.
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