Protect your Lower Back- Our Guide to Proper Lifting
Your lower back is more important than you may think. In all varieties of work, we see many patients experiencing lower back pain. So if you have ever felt a twinge of pain when bending down to grab something heavy, you aren't alone! Improper lifting technique can be a cause of low back pain, which may lead to long term complications. Whether it’s lifting your kids or grandkids to give them a big hug, or moving objects for work, having a proper technique is one way to help prevent injuring yourself!
Step-by-Step Guide to Proper Lifting
Applying the correct lifting technique will help you prevent compressing spinal discs or stressing the lower back muscles. Generally, you ought to lift heavy items using your legs and carry them with a straight back. Also, focus on distributing weight evenly across your arms or shoulders. Here are simple steps to pick up heavy objects without hurting your back.
- Make sure you have a wide support base, with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- When you squat down, ensure you bend ONLY your knees and at your waistline- do NOT curve or bend your back. If the object you are lifting is really heavy, you can even put your knee on the floor to stabilize yourself.
- Maintain good, upright posture. By tightening your stomach muscles and keeping your upper back straight, it will help keep your lower back stable.
- Lift slowly by straightening your knees and waist, making sure to keep your back straight. Try to avoid twisting as you pick up the object.
- When you are fully standing up straight, keep your load close to your body and avoid twisting your torso. Move slowly, and cautiously.
Having a plan and even having help if the object is too heavy will help you protect your back from unnecessary strain. Check out the helpful diagram on our patient resources page to see some great visuals about lifting correctly!
Physical Therapy for Low Back Injury
We can’t always plan for everything, and sometimes there are moments when we don't plan, or are moving too quickly while lifting and still get injured. If this is the case, the next step is getting help. Physical therapy is a vital resource for lower back pain since it addresses the root cause of the pain instead of simply trying to hide the symptoms. Seeing one of the BC + PT physical therapists can help you restore strength to your lower back muscles, experience an enhanced range of motion, and relieve tension in the lower back muscles via targeted manual therapies.
Physical therapy can be highly effective not only for low back twinges, but also for chronic and acute disorders. Physical therapy is a first-line treatment, so you can routinely use it to get impactful results. If it’s your first time trying PT, learn more about what to expect from a first physical therapy visit!
Physical Therapy & Chiropractic Care
If you’re already visiting a physical therapist to improve your functional potential, you might not realize that you may be able to integrate chiropractic care into the same treatment plan for maximum results!
Physical therapists prioritize reducing your pain and improving your mobility so you can have an active lifestyle. However, chiropractic treatment helps to restore spinal alignment, which may improve nerve function, and reduce back pain helping to enhance overall health. Most people recover quicker and maintain wellness longer when incorporating chiropractic therapy with other specialties such as physical therapy.
With multiple locations throughout Buffalo offering both chiropractic and physical therapy services, BC + PT just can't be beat! Give us a call today, or fill out one of our forms if you have been experiencing low back pain and want to start healing!