As we go about our daily lives, it is not uncommon for us to encounter situations where lifting heavy or awkward loads is necessary. Whether it’s moving furniture, lifting weights at the gym, carrying groceries, or a job related function, these activities require using our muscles and strength. Lifting incorrectly can lead to injuries that can have long-term effects. If you do sustain an injury while lifting and would like some advice, search “chiropractor near me” to find us and get the help you need
Some important factors to keep in mind when lifting loads to avoid any potential injuries are:
Understanding the Risks
Before we discuss the techniques for safe and effective lifting, it is important to understand the potential risks involved. Lifting incorrectly, particularly heavy loads, can put a significant amount of stress on our muscles, ligaments, and joints. If not done correctly, it can result in strains, sprain, and even more severe injuries such as disc herniation or nerve damage. These injuries can potentially impact our daily lives and limit our ability to do everyday activities. Recovery time can vary from days to months depending on the type of injury sustained.
Proper Lifting Technique
Proper technique is the key to avoiding injuries when lifting loads. Here are some essential tips to keep in mind:
- Plan your journey. Remove obstructions such as discarded wrapping materials.
- For a long lift, consider resting the load midway on a table or bench to change grip.
- Stand close to the object you want to pick up, with your feet set apart the same width as your shoulders.
- Keep the heaviest side of the load next to the body. If a close approach to the load is not possible, try to slide it towards the body before attempting to lift it. Keep the load close to the waist.
- Don’t bend at the waist, use your knees and hips to bend, and squat down towards the object.
- Keep your back straight and core engaged, while keeping the load close to your middle.
- Use the muscles in your legs to lift the object while keeping your back straight.
- Avoid twisting or jerking movements while lifting.
- Keep shoulders level and facing in the same direction as the hips. Turning by moving the feet is better than twisting and lifting at the same time.
- Look ahead, not down at the load, once it has been held securely.
- Take breaks and avoid overexerting yourself. Don’t lift more than you can handle
Know Your Limits
It is important to know your limits and not push yourself beyond what you are physically capable of. If an object is too heavy for you to lift, and will require significant effort, don’t attempt it. Ask for help or find an alternative solution. Trying to lift more than you can handle can lead to serious injuries. Consider finding someone to help move the load, or use a moving trolley if you have one.
Maintain Good Posture
Maintaining good posture while lifting is crucial for preventing injuries. A slouched or rounded back puts added stress on your spine, increasing the risk of strain or injury. Make sure to keep your shoulders back and chest up while lifting, with a neutral spine position. A slight bending of the back, hips, and knees is preferable to fully flexing the back (stooping) or fully flexing the hips and knees (squatting).
Avoid Repetitive Lifting
Repetitive lifting of heavy loads can put a significant strain on your muscles and joints, increasing the risk of injury. If you have to lift multiple heavy objects, take frequent breaks and vary your movements by breaking the pattern with some simple exercises such as the cow and cat yoga poses or wall angels. This will help prevent overexertion and allow your muscles to rest.
Lifting heavy loads may be part of our daily lives, but it is crucial to do it safely to avoid potential injuries. By searching “chiropractor near me” or clicking this link to get in contact and following these tips above, you can reduce the risk of strain or injury and keep your body healthy and strong. Remember to always listen to your body, know your limits and seek our chiropractic help if needed.