Avoid Back Injury With Proper Lifting Techniques

Estimates reveal that up to 80% of the population will experience an episode of back pain at some point in their life, and up to one third of the population is suffering with some form of back pain at any given time. Pain caused by back injury interferes not only with an individual’s ability to perform their day-to-day routines, but it also affects their ability to participate in recreational activities, and decreases their productivity at work. It’s also one of the most common reasons that individuals seek medical attention. Learning to lift properly is a simple way that you can minimize your risk of back injury and protect your spine.

Common Causes of Back Pain

Some individuals develop back pain gradually due to such things as:

  • Poor posture
  • Repetitive strain
  • Poor working conditions and/or positions

However, in many cases, back pain develops after a specific incident of awkward or heavy lifting. So, one of the best ways to protect your back is to use proper lifting technique; this is especially important when performing heavy lifting.

Proper Lifting Technique

Even if you’ve learned proper lifting techniques in the past, it never hurts to review the information again and refresh your knowledge on the subject:

Before you lift, ensure that the following conditions are met:

  • Check your surroundings to make sure that it’s safe to begin your lift.
  • Clear a path if you need to move the load from one place to another.
  • Avoid walking on uneven or slippery surfaces.
  • Don’t attempt a lift unless you are certain you can do so safely.

Various guidelines have been developed over the years discussing proper lifting techniques, since no single technique will work for every individual. However, below are some general guidelines that you should take into consideration when lifting, including:

  • Warm your muscles up prior to lifting.
  • Position your body close to the load that you are lifting.
  • Position your feet in the direction that you are moving the load.
  • Maintain the natural curve in your lower back.
  • Keep the load as close to your body as possible.
  • Use your leg muscles to lift, not your back.
  • Tighten your core muscles and tuck your chin in towards your chest.
  • Lift the load carefully and slowly.
  • Avoid bending and twisting when lifting the load.

If you’re going to be performing heavy or repetitive lifting, there are some additional tips you should follow to avoid back injury, including:

  • Take breaks periodically.
  • Cool your muscles down properly after lifting.
  • Stop immediately if you start to feel discomfort.

Another important tip to avoiding back injury when lifting is to improve your overall fitness by engaging in regular physical activity to increase the strength and range of motion of your core and back muscles.


Back pain can often be the result of awkward or heavy lifting using improper lifting techniques. By using safe lifting techniques you can help to protect your back and prevent back injury.

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