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  • Writer's pictureDr. Jeremy Will, D.C.

5 Tips for Proper Lifting




Lifting heavy objects can be daunting, especially if you're unsure how to do it safely. Back pain and injury are commonly associated with lifting, but the proper technique can help minimize these problems. Here are our top tips to help you lift safely and avoid injury.

 

1. Warm up before lifting 

As with any physical activity, it's essential to warm up before lifting heavy objects. A few simple stretches can help loosen up your muscles and prepare them for work. Warming up can help reduce the risk of injury and improve your performance.

 

2. Use your legs, not your back 

When lifting an object, it's essential to use the strong muscles in your legs rather than relying on your back. To lift correctly, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and bend your knees to get a good grip on the object you're lifting. Keep your back straight, then lift by straightening your legs. Check out this Safe Lifting infographic for more details.

 

3. Keep the object close to your body 

Another way to avoid straining your back is to keep the object you're lifting close to your body. This will help distribute the weight more evenly and make lifting easier.

 

4. Use the proper grip 

A proper grip can help you avoid injuries to your hands or fingers. One of the best grips for lifting heavy objects is the “Power Grip,” which is when your fingers wrap around the object and your thumb presses against the object.

 

5. Take frequent breaks 

Lifting heavy objects can be tiring, so taking short breaks to rest and stretch your muscles is essential to help prevent fatigue and reduce the risk of injury. Also, if an object is too heavy for you to lift alone, it's best to ask for help or to use a lifting device to get the job done safely.

 

Following these five tips can help you avoid common lifting injuries. Remember, if you feel pain or discomfort while lifting, stop immediately and rest. And if the pain persists overnight, see us! We’re here to help.




 

Leg Strengthening Can Reduce Fall Risks


Often times the fear of falling becomes a major source of concern the older we get. There have been many studies that show the risk of falling can be significantly altered as we get older with one of the most important factors being the strength in our legs. Falls in the elderly are considered one of the most serious and expensive public health problems in terms of morbidity, mortality, and enormous costs to health and social services. Recent studies have shown that the most effective interventions for preventing falls are based on balance training and lower limb muscle strengthening. The studies show that lower limb muscle strengthening has an impact beyond reducing the risk of falls because the subjects that performed muscle strengthening activities showed improvement in other areas such as balance, flexibility, and functional capacity.


A review of literature from lower limb strengthening studies showed that the most benefits were recognized by those that used incremental resistance loading. In summary, lifting progressively heavier objects utilizing the safe lifting tips from above can improve strength, balance, coordination, and will help prevent falls as we get older!

 

 Ishigaki EY, Ramos LG, Carvalho ES, Lunardi AC. Effectiveness of muscle strengthening and description of protocols for preventing falls in the elderly: a systematic review. Braz J Phys Ther. 2014 Mar-Apr;18(2):111-8. doi: 10.1590/s1413-35552012005000148. Epub 2014 Apr 22. PMID: 24760166; PMCID: PMC4183251.

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