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Lifting and Your Back. Preventing Back Injury. Back Injury. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, low back pain:. Is the most common work-related medical problem in the U.S. Is the second most common reason for doctor visits among U.S. citizens

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lifting and your back

Lifting and Your Back

Preventing Back Injury

back injury
Back Injury

According to the National Center for Health Statistics, low back pain:

  • Is the most common work-related medical problem in the U.S.
  • Is the second most common reason for doctor visits among U.S. citizens
  • Affects more than 20 million Americans
  • Is the leading cause of disability among people ages 19-45
risk factors
Risk Factors

Many factors increase the risk for back problems:

  • Lifestyle choices - tobacco use, lack of regular exercise, and inadequate nutrition substantially contribute to poor disc health
  • Aging - natural biochemical changes cause discs to gradually dry out affecting disc strength and resiliency
  • Poor posture – long-term use of incorrect body mechanics stresses the lumbar spine and affects its normal ability to carry the bulk of the body's weight
  • Poor work habits and improper lifting!
rules for lifting
Rules for Lifting
  • Never bend, lift, and twist at the same time
  • Use mechanical aids or assistance when possible
  • Bend your knees and use your legs to lift
proper lifting
Proper Lifting

Plan the Lift

  • Before lifting, analyze what needs to be done
  • Think about how heavy the object is
    • How far does it have to be moved?
    • Where it is going to end up?
  • Consider the shape of the object
    • Is it cumbersome?
    • Is it easily manipulated?
    • Is it a two-person job?
  • Look at the path
    • Is there anything in the way that needs to be moved?
proper lifting1
Proper Lifting

Position Your Body

  • Stand directly in front of the load
    • Feet about shoulder width apart
    • One foot in front of the other for balance
  • Bend your knees
  • Tighten the stomach muscles
  • Using both hands, grasp the object firmly
  • Pull it as close to your body as possible
proper lifting2
Proper Lifting

Push Up with your Legs

  • Remember to lift primarily with your legs, not with your back
    • Since leg muscles are stronger than back muscles, push up with your legs, until straightened
    • Avoid jerky movements
    • Keep the natural curve in the spine
    • Don't bend at the waist
    • To turn, move the feet around by pivoting on the toes
    • Don’t twist at the stomach
proper lifting3
Proper Lifting

Partner Up

  • If the load is too heavy, don’t try to lift it alone!
    • Find someone who can help
    • If possible, break the load into smaller, more manageable loads
proper lifting4
Proper Lifting
  • When it is time to set the load down, reverse the procedure
    • If the load is going to set on the floor, bend the knees and position the load in front of you
    • If the load is to go at table height, set it down and keep in contact with the load until it is secure on the table.
final thoughts
Final Thoughts
  • Think before you lift
  • Use common sense
  • Avoid risky behavior
    • Excessive Bending
    • Excessive Twisting
    • Excessive Reaching
    • Excessive Weights
  • Gently point out unsafe behaviors to others
  • Help others perform safe lifts