Do You Get Back Pain Lifting Or Carrying?
Watch the video below to learn tips on lifting and carrying without back pain...
Myths About Back Pain Lifting Heavy Objects
Many people with back pain are afraid to lift heavy objects because they've been told that lifting is bad for their back.
They've been told "keep your trunk upright and lift with your legs, not with your back."
If you get back pain lifting heavy objects and you've been told that before, then you need to watch this video for some myth-busting information back pain lifting and carrying.
Lifting and Carrying with Yardwork
With colder temperatures coming soon, there's a lot to do outside. Between raking leaves, carrying in plants, and bringing-in yard decorations, there are plenty of opportunities to "throw your back out".
However being mindful about a few technique tips can help you avoid back pain lifting and carrying during yardwork.
Why Do I Get Back Pain Lifting And Carrying?
When you lift something heavy, you're adding compressive forces to your spine.
This adds pressure to the discs and joint of your lower back. If you have a bulging, herniated, or degenerative disc in your back, compression can put more pressure on the discs, potentially causing pain.
Traditional methods of "safe-lifting" techniques have focused on protecting the discs.
Thus, people have been taught for decades to keep their trunk upright, back straight, and "lift with your legs".
However, there are many other reasons why you might get back pain after lifting.
Back Muscle Pain After Lifting and Carrying
Your back muscles can be a major cause of back pain after lifting and carrying.
Muscle pain is usually latent, meaning it happens after the fact.
You may have noticed this if you've had a hard workout, or done a lot of work around the house or in the yard.
Often times muscles pain doesn't happen while lifting. You usually get the back pain after lifting - often later that evening or the next morning when the muscles have stiffened up.
Back Spasm Cause Facet Joint Compression
Your back muscles act to support your spine when lifting. However, when your back muscles are in a sustained contraction, this adds even more pressure to the joints and discs in your back. In people age 40+ who have back pain lifting, it's often the facet joint compression rather than discs that causes their back pain.
When the back is too arched or too upright, the face joints jam together as shown in the backward bending picture above.
When you keep your back too arched and upright when lifting, you're using back muscle force to hold your spine upright while your facet joints are being jammed together.
Which brings me back to my earlier point:
Keeping your back TOO upright doesn't help prevent back pain lifting.
How To Prevent Back Pain Lifting And Carrying
Tips To Prevent Back Pain Lifting
- Work SMARTER, Not HARDER
If you’re moving and lifting heavy things, make a few trips instead of trying to do it all in one! It's LESS hassle for you and a lot less time out of your schedule than if you injure yourself by trying to rush.
- Ask a Friend, Family Member, or Neighbor
If you're working with a really heavy object, then ask for help from a family member, friend, or neighbor. That way, neither of you hurts your back when lifting.
- Lift From Higher Up On The Object If You Can
If you don't have to bend as far down, the object doesn't have as much leverage on your back.
- DON'T Try To Keep Your Back Straight And Upright
As previously mentioned, keeping your back too straight takes more muscle force and also compresses your joints together. It's OK (and good) to allow your trunk to bend some.
- Move your trunk forward as your hips move backward.
This will keep your spine neutral, even though it's not upright. Instead, you should engage your abdominals and glutes (buttock) muscles to do more of the lifting rather than your back muscles.
Tips To Prevent Back Pain When Carrying
- Get as close to the object as you can to get as close to your center of gravity as possible.
- Keep your spine in a neutral position.
- Roll your pelvis forward, underneath of you. Do this while keeping your hips back.
- Your center of gravity should be curved over top the object.
- Lift the object from the top if possible, otherwise lift from the bottom of the object.
- Push your hips forward into the object as you lift upwards.
- Keep the object close to your center of gravity as you come to a standing position.
Using these tips to prevent back pain when lifting and carrying so that you can keep your spine safe and painfree.
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