Get back to the basics
Sprains and strains to the muscles, tendons and ligaments, and injury of the disks in the back are common injuries that are often avoidable, but can cause severe pain that may result in an inability to do any type of strenuous activity. Be aware of the causes of back injuries and your lifting limitations. Remembering a few pointers on lifting techniques can help you stay healthy.
- Lifting something too heavy is not the only cause of back injuries. Poor posture and physical condition can put stress on your back muscles and lead to a weak back.
- Before lifting anything, you should size up the load. Test the weight by moving a corner of the object. Make sure that you have a clear path to carry the load and a clear area to set it down. Get help moving items that are too heavy or bulky.
- Stand with your feet close to the object and center yourself over the load. Bend your knees. This is the most important part of lifting. Your legs are designed to carry weight, and bending your knees allows your legs to lift and support the load. Get a good grip on the object with both hands. Straighten your legs to lift straight up in a slow, smooth motion. Keep your back straight.
- Hold the load close to your body. Do not twist or turn while carrying the load. Sudden twisting motions can cause excessive strain on your back. Instead turn by moving the position of your feet. Bend your knees again, keeping your back straight as you lower the load to set it down.
- Know when mechanical lifting equipment should be used instead of manual lifting. Use the same lifting techniques to load the two-wheeler or cart. Loads on carts or two-wheelers should be pushed, not pulled to reduce stress on your back.
Great West Casualty Company wants you to stay healthy and be and perform the best you can. That's why we encourage you to take serious note of these tips to help avoid back pain and injury leading to a much better lifestyle.