Back strain can be a debilitating condition and put you out of commission. Muscle strains are common injuries and can happen in any muscle; however, they are most common in the hamstring muscles, lower back, shoulder and neck. They happen as a result of using fatigued muscles, overusing muscles or using a muscle improperly. Many back problems are the result of lifting heavy objects improperly.
This time of year, gift giving is at the top of many to-do lists. Gifts of all shapes and sizes are given and received, and some of them can be quite heavy. If you do not know how to properly lift a heavy or even a slightly heavy object, you run the risk of straining your back muscles.
The muscles in your back were not created with heavy lifting in mind. Your leg muscles, on the other hand, are larger and better suited for lifting heavy objects. Even with sturdy leg muscles, you need to be aware of proper lifting form and how much weight you can safely lift. Improper lifting can cause short-term pain or, at worst, result in long-term injury.
Proper Lifting Form
To start with, you need to make sure the object you are lifting is not too heavy for you. Your current state of health and relative strength will determine how much you can lift safely. Once you know you can manage the object, get into the proper position for lifting.
Get close to the object and bend your hips and knees. Be sure your feet are shoulder-width apart. One foot should be slightly ahead of the other. Keeping your back straight, shoulders back and chest out, grab the object and straighten your legs to lift. You should feel the brunt of the weight in your legs, not your back. Do not twist or turn your body while you are holding or lifting the object. Use your feet if you need to turn in a different direction and take small steps. Never lift a heavy object higher than your shoulders, and when you set it down, be careful and squat with your knees and hips.
Practicing good form when lifting heavy objects will prevent muscle strain and possible serious injury to your back. Ortho Sport & Spine Physicians provide specialized care for people suffering with spine and joint injuries. Contact us for relief from your pain. Call today to schedule your consultation.
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