Lifting is an essential activity in life and common at the workplace. Proper lifting technique is very important when work requires repetitive lifting to mitigate the risk of work injury and reduce workers' compensation cost. Without proper lifting technique, excessive force and wear is placed on the back. Due to leverage, bending when carrying heavy items can produce much more force on the back than the weight of the item you are lifting. Over time, this may result in injury to the joints or disc. Bending when lifting places further pressure on the discs and spine.
It can be difficult to know how much strain you are placing on your back during the course of the day as lifting incorrectly with low weight a few times often doesn’t cause immediate pain. Pain from a back injury often appears with inflammation after the fact. As this is the case, you may not have a back pain symptom until the next day.
It is important to prevent your back from flexing when lifting. Squat to lift rather than bend your back. If you have to use all of your strength to lift a heavy item, it is best to find a better lifting position, use a tool, or get help. Often when you lift with your maximum strength, excess force is placed on the ligaments of the back, increasing the chances of injury.
Consult your Chiropractor if you have suffered injury to your back when lifting. To learn how to maintain a healthy lower back, watch this back strengthening exercise video.