Chiropractic Advice for Lifting Heavy Items
If you're planning on collecting some heavy goods (or leaving them out for collection) this is a friendly reminder to think about the health of your spine and remember to always use proper lifting techniques.
Define a 'Proper Lifting Technique?'
A proper lifting technique is a precautionary method that includes a few simple steps to minimise the stress and strain on weight baring joints and a process that helps prolong the health of your spine.
The Importance of Proper Lifting Techniques
According to Dr. Peter Roennfeldt (A Chiropractor based in Adelaide) the number of patients seeking adjustments from incorrect lifting techniques has risen by more than 20% since 2011. Dr. Peter says that many of his peers have also acknowledged the increase and attribute the result to changes in our work life balance, and more specifically the amount of time people spend behind a desk or in front of a screen.
Holding your torso in a relatively immobile state can lock up the muscular-skeletal so when we as a society spend more time on a couch or in front of a screen we also subject our spine to a limited range of movement and run the risk of damaging it from just one simple action.
What Steps Should I Follow When Lifting Heavy Items?
- Widen your stance so your feet are shoulder width apart.
- Squat down whilst maintaining good posture.
- Lift slowly using your legs and hips.
- Hold as much of the weight as close to your body as possible.
- Change direction with your feet (not twisting your back).
- Keep shoulders and hips pointing the same direction.
- Place your object down slowly, lowering your body with your hips and knees.
For more information on heavy lifting techniques see this article on WebMD.
What if already have back pain? What extra precautions can I take?
Dr. Peter (Chiropractor) encourages everyone to follow these tips:
- Plan Ahead: It sounds silly but planning ahead before lifting is a smart way to reduce the risks. Consider whether two people are needed or one and go through the motion of exactly how you are going to lift the object in a slow controlled manner. And plan the route for the heavy object before lifting it.
- Stretches: People are more likely to damage their back lifting something after periods of prolonged activity (e.g after waking up in the morning or after prolonged sitting). This makes it important to also stretch and get some movement into your spine before lifting anything heavy.
- If lifting multiple things it is important to take some break in between as the repetitive movements of lifting could accumulate, resulting in reduced motion and muscle fatigue which could make your back more vulnerable to get damaged ripped and inflamed.
- Know your limits, don’t try and lift something that is too heavy by yourself (always be prepared to ask for help).
- If you are concerned about lifting heavy items then speak to a Chiropractor.
With services like Ziilch growing in popularity, more frequent hard rubbish collections and a unnatural amount of time spent in front of screens there has never been a more important time to consider your lifting technique. Readying your heavy items for collection is usually a task for the owner (or previous owner). After all, these services are free so the notion of paying a professional to lift items like your old fridge, desks, couches and similar goods is usually out of the question.
Don't be another heavy lifting statistic at a Chiropractor's clinic. Follow these simple steps and avoid a potentially agonising scenario.