Have you ever experienced pain in your low back with activities like bending down to pick up your children, carrying groceries, or moving boxes and furniture? You may even find yourself questioning why your back is aching, as what you’ve lifted did not seem overly heavy. Often times the culprit our low back pain is not always what we’re lifting, but how we’re lifting it.
I’m sure you’re familiar with the saying “lift with your legs and not your back”, but what does that mean exactly? Our back is made up of various smaller muscles whose jobs are to support our trunk and keep us upright. Our legs are made up of fewer, yet larger and stronger muscles that can help us move and lift more efficiently and safely. Let’s learn how to use proper lifting mechanics, so that we can spend time fully enjoying the company of our families on Father’s Day, rather than being distracted by low back pain.
Here are some Do’s and Don’ts of Lifting:
- Have your feet hip width apart
- Bend at your knees and hips
- Keep your back straight
- Tighten your core muscles
- Keep the object you’re lifting close to your body
- Bend down through your back
- Lock out your knees
- Twist while holding the object you’ve lifted
- Lift heavy objects alone
Hopefully these tips get you through your yard work and summer activities without any injuries. If you have questions about your lifting mechanics, or are struggling with persistent or recurrent low back pain, call the clinic to book an assessment with our physiotherapy team who would be happy to help!
Wishing everyone a happy and safe Father’s Day!
-Hilary Veenstra, PT