Whether you’re a cross-trainer throwing heavy weight around a gym or just trying to make sure you’re not putting your back at risk when you pick up a heavy object, you’re in the right place.
Often, back problems and injuries can be avoided or mitigated if you practice proper body mechanics. Our team of experts at Ani Medical Group specializes in helping patients resolve their back pain and equipping them with strategies to avoid problems and pain in the future.
Take a closer look at what it looks like to lift with your back in mind.
Your back — up close
Your back is your body’s main support system, holding you up and protecting some of your most vital organs and structures, including your spine. It consists of a complex network of muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves, and bones working together so your back can do its job.
How to protect your back while lifting
A variety of degenerative conditions and diseases out of your control, such as arthritis, can threaten your back and cause pain. But just as often, injuries — like the ones you get from improper lifting techniques — are the source of your back pain.
Control the things you can by embracing these lifting techniques.
Mind your core
You might not realize it, but your core muscles are crucial for lifting heavy objects. Strong core muscles help hold your back in a good position when you lift to take pressure off of your spine.
Use your lower body
Your back is strong, but your legs are much stronger, and you should use them when lifting. Bend your knees to get low to the ground and then rely on your lower body strength when picking up the heavy object.
Looking up when lifting is a hack professional movers and bodybuilders use. By looking up slightly, you can keep your spine in a better position and maintain a straight back while lifting.
Have a plan
Are stairs in your way? Do you have to clear a path beforehand? These are things to keep in mind whether you’re lifting alone or with a partner. Simply making a plan before lifting can prevent you from making a potentially painful mistake.
Lift close to your body
Objects at the end of your reach are much harder to handle than those that are closer to you. Always make sure that you have a firm hold on the object you’re lifting and keep it balanced.
Pay attention to posture
Starting with a solid base is crucial. Check that your feet are shoulder width apart. Once you’ve lifted the object, never twist or bend — face in the direction you’re walking, taking small steps when moving or turning.
Don’t overdo it
The time it takes to find someone to help you lift a heavy object or spot you at the gym is nothing compared to the time you may need to recover from an injury. If something is too heavy for you, find help before attempting to lift it.
Be wary of back belts
Back belts are popular, but research says that they don’t decrease your risk for injury when lifting. Avoid them or at least don’t rely solely on them when picking up heavy weight.
How we can address back pain
When the worst happens and you injure your back while lifting, we have comprehensive back pain treatments and therapies that help you recover quickly.
Depending on your needs, we may recommend:
- Muscle relaxers
- Spinal injections
- Exercise and strength-building guidance
- Lifestyle adjustments
Only in the most severe cases does back pain require surgical intervention, but we have an experienced orthopaedic surgeon on our staff who can address your injury.
If you’d like more information about how to avoid back pain, or if you’d like to be evaluated for a potential problem, request an appointment online or over the phone today at either of our conveniently located offices in Hazlet or Old Bridge, New Jersey.