At the Kraus Back and Neck Institute in Houston, TX, patients with low back injuries and neck injuries are seen very frequently. One of the most common things which we do every day, yet give very little thought to, is lifting. Because we do it so frequently, lifting can cause significant injury to the low back. This can occur as a result of lifting heavy objects once or light objects multiple times. If you proper techniques of lifting, back injury can be avoided.
First we will focus on bending itself. One of the worst things which we can do is to bend at the waist. This place is huge stresses upon the lumbar spine. It is much better to bend at the knees while keeping the back in a relatively straight and upright posture.
The position of the feet is very important when lifting objects. Keep the feet at least a shoulder width apart from each other. This helps provide extra leverage and stability.
The position of the object which we are lifting in relation to our body is very important. Make sure to keep the object as close to the body as possible. The further the object is away from our body, the greater the torque is placed on our lumbar spine.
Balance the objects which you are carrying so that both sides of the body have an equal weight distribution. We often see people carrying a heavy object such as a suitcase in one hand while leaning to the other side to balance the weight. This places excessive stress upon the lumbar spine. It is much better to try to carry equal weights on either side and create a balanced load for the lumbar spine.
Avoid lifting objects which are too heavy for you. This will of course vary depending upon the abilities of the individual. It is best to avoid a level of extreme strain and struggle as this has a much higher risk of causing injury to the back.
While lifting objects, keep your body straight and pointed at the object. One of the worst things we can do is twist the body while lifting at the same time. This does place significant stress and strain upon the lumbar spine.
When possible, avoid lifting objects and especially heavy ones, above the waist and shoulders. When one lifts bear arms up in the air, the curvature of the lumbar spine increases. If one is lifting an object at the same time, excess strain will be placed on the lumbar spine.
Since injury to the low back and neck, or any other portion of the spine, can occur as a result of improper lifting techniques, it is important to pay good attention to proper body mechanics.
If one pays attention to these guidelines, many back injuries will be avoided. Remember that back injuries can occur as a result of repetitive injury to the spine or from an isolated single injury. It is easy enough to remember to incorporate these simple lifting techniques into our daily routines at the same time significantly decrease chances of a low back injury.
The Kraus Back and Neck Institute, located in Houston, TX, specialized in the surgical and non-surgical treatment of low back pain, neck pain, degenerative disc disease, disc degeneration, herniated disc in the lumbar and cervical spine, and sciatica. They serve patients in the Houston and surrounding areas, including Katy, Galleria, Cinco Ranch, the Woodlands, Sugarland, the Woodlands, Pearland, Westchase, River Oaks, Conroe, Baytown, Beaumont, Port Arthur, Humble, Kingwood, Atascocita, as well as other regions of Texas and the United States.
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