Lifting Mechanics

How to Lift

Throughout our everyday lives we are carrying grocery bags, lifting children, laundry baskets and garbage cans. Lifting correctly with these simple tasks and when packing heavy bags for our summer vacations can help prevent neck, shoulder and back pain, and possibly even more serious injuries. Learning the proper way to lift will help you minimize the risk of pain and injury.
Before lifting, test the weight of an object or multiple objects before lifting. If it seems too heavy, ask for help or make multiple trips. Plan ahead before lifting heavy objects and make sure you have a clear path. This will help you avoid any awkward or sudden movements that can strain your muscles.
Lift with your legs, not with your back. Stand close to the object, bend your knees and keep your back straight, then lift. Don’t lean over an object to lift it. Instead, bend your knees to get down to the level of the object and bring it close to you. Face the object you intend to lift and avoid twisting. When lifting contract your stomach muscles, but be sure not to hold your breath.
Keep feet shoulder-width apart and maintain your balance by distributing the weight equally on both sides of your body. Hold heavy items with both hands, distribute the weight of multiple items between your hands, and alternate the side you carry your purse or child to avoid over working the same muscles all the time.
If an injury does occur, seek help. What starts as a minor back injury can progress to a chronic condition without early intervention.
If you have any questions on how to lift or aches and pains that are not subsiding let us know. We would be happy to assess the troubled area for you at Active Physical Therapy.

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