We all know the old saying “lift with your legs, not your back”, and that poor lifting technique is a major cause of low back pain, but what is good technique, and how can we achieve it without someone standing over our shoulder criticizing our form?
The first and most fundamental aspect of good lifting form is to maintain what is referred to as a ‘neutral spine’ throughout the lift. The ‘neutral spine’ position can be found by tilting your pelvis forward (or sticking out your bottom) as far as you can, then tilting back (tucking your bottom in) The mid-point between these two is neutral spine.
Holding this position, place your feet either side of the object to be lifted. This brings your centre of gravity closer to that of the object you are lifting, decreasing the shear forces on the lumbar spine as the load increases.
Now bend your knees and stick your bottom out to bring your body down to the level of the item you are lifting. As you bend down towards the item, allow your knees to go either side of it, and aim to have your chest over, or as close as possible to the item to be lifted.
Ensure you have a good hold on the item before standing up. As you stand, slightly brace your abdominal muscles to further support your spine, and focus on squeezing through your buttocks to bring yourself upright.
Whilst this may seem like a lot to remember, if you practicing lifting in this way a few times each day you will very quickly find that it becomes second nature. This reteaching of “faulty movement patterns” is one of the many ways a chiropractor can not only reduce pain levels short term, but can help to keep pain under control long term as well. Call us to find out more: 01225 862140