No one is immune to having a back injury.
Whether you have a strong back or have hurt your back before, it is well worth
- Stop yourself before
casually picking up a light or heavy load.
- Plan in your mind for the best way to lift what's in front of
you. This could include enlisting help from one or more
- Lift and move slowly and
The time you take to use the right lifting mechanics is far
less than the days, weeks, or months it can take to heal from a back
How can I lift without hurting my back?
Follow these basic rules to
protect your back while lifting :
- Keep a wide base of support. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart, with one foot
slightly ahead of the other (karate stance).
- Squat down, bending at the hips and knees only. If needed,
put one knee to the floor and your other knee in front of you, bent at a right
angle (half kneeling).
- Maintain good posture. Look straight ahead, and keep your back straight, your chest
out, and your shoulders back. This helps keep your upper back straight while
maintaining a slight arch in your lower back.
- Slowly lift by straightening your hips and knees (not your
back). Keep your back straight, and don't twist as you lift.
- Hold the load as close to your body as possible, at the level
of your belly button.
- Use your feet to
change direction, taking small steps.
- Lead with your hips as you change direction. Keep your shoulders in line with your
hips as you move.
- Set down your load
carefully, squatting with the knees and hips only.
Return to Back Problems: Proper Lifting