It happens all too often. Someone assumes they can handle a lift, and are already executing the lift before they realize they underestimated the weight. If that doesn’t do it, then the person failed to lift with their knees and the back has to bear the burden. Before they know it, the very thing that keeps them upright goes out on them. After that, chronic back pain, limited range of motion and all kinds of difficulties ride on the tails of that miscalculation. Back injures can be prevented. An excellent new infographic from Trimotion Industries provides excellent tips for preventing injury. Following are some additional tips.
1. Make it a mission to wear a belt or a back support. However, never think these aids nullify the need to follow proper procedure.
2. Keep in mind that there is some sound wisdom about proper lifting. You do it with your eyes first! It’s important to look at the object and assess the size, shape and weight. From there you should make sure you have a clear path for the entire duration of the move. If you have to move it five feet, make sure there are no obstructions for that five foot path. If you are moving down a hallway, make sure it’s wide enough. Clear any obstructions.
3. Next, you should make sure that anybody involved in the lifting is in agreement. If you are lifting on the count of three, everybody should be prepared to lift when they hear that number, not before or after.
4. Lifting close to the body keeps the weight better balanced. You should never lift as though you are dancing with someone who repulses you. You almost want to hug and embrace the item.
5. Your feet should be shoulder length apart and you should take short steps when you walk it to a new spot. Movement is better when you do these two things.
6. Play lift. This means you should actually widen your arms as wide as they will need to be for the actual lift, place your feet shoulder length apart, bend your knees while you lower to the ground and keep your back straight and then count to three and pretend lift.
7. When you and anyone helping you is ready, make the actual lift the way you practiced it. Make certain the back is straight and the knees are bending to execute the lift.
8. In order to keep your spine from enduring excessive force, tighten your stomach muscles. For some reason this forces you to hold your spine the right way.
9. Look high. When you lift, including during the pretend run, look upward so you are able to keep your back straight.
10. Lift with your legs. They can handle more weight than the back. Also, you have two of them.
11. Always face in the direction that you are walking. This applies even when you are turning corners. Don’t forget the small steps.
Countless man-hours are missed on jobs. A whole host of people suffer from preventable back injuries. This population is certainly living at a sub par level because they don’t always feel like getting out of bed, going to work, showing up at school, hanging out with friends or playing with the kids. Back pain even interferes with intimacy, and the desire for intimacy. If nothing else is true, you can count on this, your spine is too important in a whole slew of ways to take it for granted. Do your part to stay spine healthy because with savvy and caution, lifting is a doable thing if it’s done right.