Whether you have existing back issues or you work or exercise in such a way that puts your back health at risk, making sure that you’re taking the necessary precautions is crucial for avoiding any potential injuries. The good news? While this can sound difficult to many, the reality is that lifting items safely is easy to learn and apply.
Lift with Proper Form
Lifting heavy objects is very much an activity that you can prepare for. Every move counts, and there are certain ways to lift items that will reduce strain on your back and protect you from potential injury. When you go to lift heavy objects, make sure you:
- Assess the weight and size of the item you intend on lifting. This is something that you will become more skilled at as you lift more items. If the item in question is gym equipment, you will be able to weigh it with greater ease.
- Squat down with a straight back and hug the item close to your body.
- Tighten your core and lift with your legs as you maintain a secure grip on the item.
- Carefully squat to set down the item so that you don’t injure your back after successfully picking said item up.
It’s also important to remember that you should never try to carry something heavy on only one side of your body. The more you practice lifting items in the above fashion, the easier it will be to lift heavy items the right way over time. Your back will truly appreciate it!
Avoid Exercise While Injured
This tip may seem like a given. However, some people may feel pressure at work or in the gym to complete a specific lifting activity, only to exacerbate symptoms of their current back condition that causes further issues for them in the short term. Whenever your back is in pain or there’s a minor injury that’s currently impacting you, it’s best to avoid heavy lifting until the doctor says you’re fully healed and ready to start lifting once again.
Of course, this also brings us to another point: taking proper care of your back. Items like lower back support braces can help you recover faster and give you more support when you’re in situations where lifting is expected (although you should never rely on them solely to help you lift objects).
Speaking of ways that you can reduce pain while you’re healing, you can always take a trip to the chiropractor, use OTC pain relievers that can make the pain more manageable, or even alternate between hot and cold compresses to experience some relief.
Remember, your back can only support you if you’re taking the best possible care of your back.
Strengthen Your Lifting Muscles
If you’re someone who regularly goes to the gym or is in a line of work where physical exercise is the norm, you may not think too much about your back health. However, it’s only when we’re faced with an injury that we begin to become more aware of just how crucial our spine is to our day-to-day lives.
Whether you’ve recently been injured or you want to pay more attention to fitness to avoid issues in the future, look for exercises that support back health and help you build muscle in all the right places. One great exercise is yoga. Through yoga, you can strengthen muscles throughout your body, promoting greater flexibility that you’ll need to lift items and even reducing pain if you’re currently experiencing it. It may take some time to adjust to, but it’s always a helpful exercise to pursue throughout your week.
Of course, it’s important to note that this is only half the battle. Changing your lifestyle habits that are contributing to poor back health is critical to lifting carefully as well. This means eating better, moving more often, and even quitting smoking if it’s hindering the healing process for a back injury.
This can sound like a lot of changes. To make this more manageable, implement small steps into your schedule and work up towards reaching these goals so that you stay on track and keep your back healthy and strong!
You’re in Control of Your Back Health
Back health is more important than most people realize. If you rely on your back to lift heavy objects regularly, knowing how to properly do this and keep your back in good shape can mean the difference between throwing your back out or being able to preserve your overall health for years to come.
Fortunately, both individuals who already experience back problems as well as those who are looking to avoid them have plenty of ways to avoid back injuries while navigating their career or daily lives.
If you want to make sure your back stays safe whenever you go to lift something heavy, use the tips above to learn better form and protect your back!