Have you ever lifted a heavy box, felt a pulling sensation or sharp pain, and thought, “Well, that didn’t feel right?” If it hasn’t happened, it probably will. According to the American Chiropractic Association, as many as 80% of us will experience back injuries or pain in our lifetime. Doctors of Chiropractic can help you know how to lift objects safely. Consult with your chiropractor for proper lifting biomechanics.
The Science of Lifting, Explained
Biomechanics is “the study of the mechanical laws relating to the movement or structure of living organisms,” and proper biomechanics is a key focus in the chiropractic philosophy of care. Doctors of chiropractic excel in working with patients to be more aware of the biomechanical motions involved in lifting and other physical movements regular part of daily living.
A common injury caused by improper lifting is straining muscles that support the spine. Improper lifting is harmful to your back because it puts extreme tension on your vertebra, discs, and muscles that support the spine. Just one wrong move can cause a lifetime of pain.
Before Any Lifting Task, Be Prepared
One good move, of course, is to have a chiropractor evaluate your posture and abilities. If your chiropractor determines you’re physically up to the task you have in mind, consider these three factors before lifting or moving heavy items.
1. Is your body ready for the motion?
Take a moment to prepare your body for the lifting motion, ensuring you can control and properly support yourself to perform the lift. A study done on improper posture shows that “low back pain can be prevented if an appropriate preparatory set is taken.”Sometimes, this may be as simple as remembering you’re about to lift something requiring more force than usual, and that alone may better prepare your body to handle what you’re asking it to do.
2. Evaluate the object, use good form
Heavier items obviously require more force to be lifted, and generating this force depends on body type and size. And always, rather than bending down from the waist, lower your body into a full squat, then extend your legs so you can use your stronger lower-body musculature. By considering the size, shape, and weight of the item you are trying to lift, you can appropriately adapt your biomechanical approach.
3. If an object is heavy, don’t try to lift it alone
Having someone else there to assist you with heavy lifting is a sound, safe way to help avoid injury due to heavy lifting. This may be common sense, but many people overestimate what they can (or should) do alone.
CUKC Chiropractic Health Center
Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC), founded in 1922, is a private, nonprofit, chiropractic and health science-focused university in Overland Park, Kansas. The on-campus CUKC Chiropractic Health Center is open to the public and treats patients from Kansas City’s 15-county metro area. Our goal is to provide care and solutions for a better, more productive life for our patients.