Lower Back Injury from Lifting and Carrying

Lower Back Injury

Nowadays, a lot of people are complaining that they always have lower back injury from lifting and carrying objects or even their own children. When you bend forward from the waist, the discs in your spine come under great pressure and your back muscles have to fight against both your own body weight and the pull of gravity. Then the muscles have to work even harder to pull you upright. This effect is compounded if you lift a heavy load from this position, and can easily result in a back injury.

If you already have back problems, try to avoid lifting and carrying heavy loads. If this is not possible, learn to lift and carry correctly.

Position yourself close to the load with your feet on either side of it and one foot slightly in front of the other, facing the direction in which you want to go.

Keeping your back straight, lower yourself down to the level of the load by bending at the knees and hips. Pick up the load, using handles if they are there or with one hand below one side and the other at the front.

With your body close to the load, lean forward slightly and then, keeping your back straight, straighten your knees and hips and stand up. As you lift, always keep the load close to your body, since holding something heavy at arm’s length will cause strain. When lowering the load, reverse this procedure.

Keeping your back straight, bend at hips and knees and return the load to the ground can decrease the chances of having a lower back injury from lifting and carrying.

How to Avoid Lower Back Injury from Lifting Long Heavy Objects

If you have to lift a long heavy object, such as a roll of carpet, lift the end nearest to you then, straightening your knees and hips, stand up and, with the opposite end of the object still on the floor, walk toward it until the object is vertical.

Help support the object with one hand halfway down its length and squat once more to grasp the bottom with the other hand. As before, straighten your knees and hips to stand up, always keep your back straight and the load close to you.

When carrying heavy objects, you need to keep them close to your body at all times to keep your back straight. Break down heavy loads into more manageable weight if possible. It is better to make several journeys than to damage your back.

If you are carrying heavy luggage or shopping, divide the load equally between two bags or between two bags and a backpack. If possible, use a luggage or supermarket trolley.

When lifting heavy loads out of the back of a car, especially if the boot is deep or has a high sill, causes many back problems. If possible break the load down into smaller loads. When you are packing the boot, stow the heaviest loads closest to you to minimize bending. Avoid twisting because you can have lower back injury from lifting objects.

Lower Back Injury From Lifting Children – Hazards for parents

Lifting children from the floor and out of cots and pushchairs can also trigger back problems. New mothers are especially vulnerable, as hormonal changes during pregnancy cause the ligaments of the spine and pelvis to soften and stretch in order to ease the baby’s head through the pelvis. It can take up to six months after the birth for them to return to normal.

The advice about lifting heavy loads applies equally to lifting children; bend your knees to save your back. Never attempt to lift a child with your arms held out straight in front of you. If you do, the risk of having a lower back injury from lifting your children is higher.

Are You Moving Correctly to avoid lower back injury from lifting?

  • Always keep your back as straight as possible
  • Ensure work/kitchen surfaces are the right height to avoid bending forward
  • In the kitchen store heavy objects, such as casseroles, at waist level
  • Use long handled brushed, mops and garden tools to avoid bending your back
  • Crouch or kneel rather than bend when polishing, dusting, cleaning the bath or making beds
  • Do not bend over the basin to wash your hair, kneel beside the bath instead or, better still, wash your hair in the shower
  • Try not to carry out any one activity for an extended period of time. Swap around between tasks.
  • When lifting always hold objects (and children) close to your body, keep your back straight and flex your knees and hips to lift
  • Whenever possible, break down the load into smaller, lighter bundles.

So, make sure you follow the right advice to avoid lower back injury from lifting or carrying heavy object or even your own children.

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