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Ouuch! My back is killing!

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Ouuch! My back is killing me!

Published: 11/16/2010 by Dr. Anthony Kell

A couple of days ago I treated a patient with a flare-up of low back pain. His whole trunk had shifted to the right. After a successful treatment to relieve his pain, I watched in dismay as he bent forward and twisted sideways to pick up his socks, the very action that caused his pain in the first place. I wish this was a isolated incident but it’s certainly not because many of us are guilty of using poor lifting techniques at work, the gym or at home. Do you remember that class you had in school when teacher told you about how to protect your body against injury and how to lift properly? Funny, I don't remember that class either because doesn't exist. The only stuff I ever heard was to sit up straight at the table. So I wanted take this opportunity to educate you on the three rules of lifting.

1. Keep the load in close and between the legs. The further the load is away from the body more stress it causes on the back especially the disc joints.

2. Lift like lift/elevator not like crane that means you need to bend your knees to go up and down rather than bending forward at the waist to pick-up. Doing it that way helps maintain the natural curvatures of your spine keeping disc in neutral position decreasing the likelihood of injury.

3. When arising with your load you keep your head up and breathe out. Again this keeps spine in neutral position and breathing out lowers your intra-abdominal pressure that if too high can possibly lead to injury.

Of course there are variations in lifting techniques for certain lifting situations but rules still hold true for all.

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Ouuch! My back is killing me!