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Tips for Avoiding Back Pain When Lifting Heavy Items

Every year, 50% of working Americans experience back pain. Lifting or carrying heavy items can’t always be avoided, so it’s important to learn the proper technique to avoid back pain.

At offices In Wilmington, Delaware, and Springfield, Pennsylvania, pain management expert Dr. Steven Grossinger and his talented team offer the most effective treatment for chronic pain, including back pain, to help you resolve your pain without surgery or addictive medication. 

In principle, heavy items should only be lifted using your legs and carried with a straight back. You should always try to distribute weight evenly across both arms or shoulders. Fortunately, there are simple steps you can take to prevent back pain when you’re lifting.

Exercise helps against back pain

The best way to prevent back pain or get rid of it quickly is to get moving. Many people experience immobility as a result of working office jobs; using incorrect posture when you sit at your desk can cause tension and pain. Light stretching exercises help.

A strong back and abdominal muscles, which stabilize your trunk, are particularly effective against back pain. Endurance sports such as jogging, cycling, swimming, walking, and yoga are beneficial. Bed rest, on the other hand, makes sense only in a few cases of back pain. 

Prevent back pain

In addition to exercise and strength training, the following can also support back pain prevention.

Use a backpack correctly

Heavy bags should always be carried on both shoulders like a backpack. With children, it’s important that they carry a backpack using two straps. Children shouldn’t carry more than 10%-12% of their body weight on their backs.

Set up your workspace properly

You can also prevent back pain from office work with the right setup. The seat of your office chair should be as high as your knees. Your thighs should be horizontal when you’re sitting. 

The depth of the seat and the adjustment of the backrest are also crucial. When sitting, you ideally have two fingers' width between the front edge of the seat and the back of your knee while your back is in contact with the backrest. 

The curve in the backrest should support your back. The armrest of your office chair is at the right height when your elbows rest loosely with your shoulders sagging.

Sleep on the right mattress

It’s vital that your mattress is back-friendly because you spend a large part of your life in bed.

A common misconception is that only a firm mattress is a good mattress. Rather, the degree of firmness of the mattress must be such that your body can sink slightly so that the spine is optimally supported. 

If you decide on a spring mattress, the most common type of mattress, ensure that the number of springs is as high as possible. The more springs the mattress has, the better the support.

How to lift properly

The back often becomes curved as you lift heavy items, meaning a large part of the load is transferred to the spine. But if you lift an object with a straight back, the stress on the spine is significantly lower. Consciously lift from your legs and not from the bend of your back.

Also, always lift with an evenly distributed load. if possible, grab heavy items with both hands instead of leaning your spine to one side. One good example is grocery shopping. Divide your purchases into several bags of roughly the same weight and then carry one bag in each hand. 

Another example is gardening. If you want to turn with a fully loaded shovel, move your whole body and keep the weight as close to you as possible.

You don’t have to live with back pain. Dr. Grossinger quickly diagnoses and treats back pain so you can live your best life, pain-free. Call us today or request an appointment online.

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