How to Avoid Injuring Your Back When Lifting

How to Avoid Injuring Your Back When LiftingLow back pain makes up the majority of work-related visits to the doctor. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), back pain is the leading cause of disability in people aged 19 to 45, and millions of people all around the world experience it. There are a number of things that contribute to injuries at work, but lifting, forceful movements, and whole body vibrations are  the most likely to be associated with lower back pain. Studies have found that overexertion or strenuous movement is the main cause for work-related injuries that call for medical attention.

Like many other parts of the body, the lower back is made up of bone, muscle, connective tissues, and nerve tissues. Each of these components has a limit in terms of their ability to withstand a physical load. When that limit is exceeded, the result is a strain on any one of the inner workings. Since there are nerves all throughout the tissues in the lower back, substantial pain can be experienced.

When lifting, it is important to observe correct posture. Doing so can help to mitigate the risk of a strain or sprain. Two main tips include utilizing the muscles in your legs to accomplish most of the work, and maintaining the optimal posture to support the natural curvature of the spine. These can both help to minimize the stress on your back.

The worst things you can do when lifting include bending at your waist. This causes a great amount of strain on your lower back. Instead, bend your knees to reach for the object on the ground. Additionally, any twisting of your torso while returning to an upright position creates the greatest risk for disc herniation, which can cause debilitating pain. This can lead to inflammation, dysfunction of the lumbar nerves, weakness, and numbness in the lower extremities.

A few other tips for how to avoid injuring you back at work:

  • Plan your lifting ahead of time.
  • Keep the item you’re lifting close to your body.
  • Get help lifting if needed. Use your best judgement!
  • Keep your nose between your toes. This way you’re not straining your spine as you move.

What happens if you do injure yourself? Stop what you’re doing and call for help. If help is unavailable, assess your injury. If you’re able to move, get yourself some medical attention. If you’re unable to wait, you may need to go to an urgent care clinic. If you can wait, call your chiropractor to set up an appointment. From there, you may need ongoing care, so be sure to talk it over with your chiropractor.

If you have questions or need some help with your lower back pain, let us know. Give us a call and let’s schedule a consultation.

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