Regardless of what you do for a living, at some point you will be faced with the task of lifting and carrying a heavy object, whether you’re moving out of your home or you’re a contractor, building a new kitchen. If you practice the proper technique, you can avoid neck, back, and shoulder injuries and save yourself a lot of pain. What is the proper technique? The physical therapists at Cherry Creek Wellness Center in Denver suggest following these tips:
Test the object
Before you pick anything up, you should test it to judge how heavy it is to see if you will be able to safely carry it. Do this by gently pushing or moving the object while it’s still on the ground. You should be able to determine how heavy the object is by how much it moves across the floor when you apply force. If you aren’t able to move the object at all with your hands or feet, it’s definitely too heavy for you to carry.
Clear a path
Do you plan on moving the object after you’ve lifted it into the air? Before you begin, plan out where you will be taking the object and make sure there’s a clear path for you to walk through. This will help you avoid tripping over anything on the floor or bumping into things that you can’t see with the heavy object in your hands.
Check the box
Look in the box and see what objects are inside. Make sure the items are packed tight so nothing will shift after you have lifted the box from the ground. If items do begin to slip and slide while you’re trying to carry the box, this will affect the weight distribution of the load and throw you off balance.
You should also check how the box is packed to ensure the weight is evenly distributed. For example, if there are two heavy objects inside, they should be placed at opposite ends of the box instead of together on one side.
Lift with your legs
The most important thing you need to remember is to lift with your legs and not with your back. Position yourself next to the object and bend your knees to bring yourself down to the appropriate level. Make sure your back is straight while you are in this position. As you lift the object, straighten your knees slowly, and focus on keeping your back in an upright position. You should never twist around as you lift, as this could hurt your back.
If you do happen to injure yourself after picking up a heavy object, it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Some physical therapy patients wait until the pain has become unbearable before seeking help, but this is not the right approach to take. Remember, you can’t always determine how severe an injury is by the level of pain you are feeling. In some cases, a minor injury may be incredibly uncomfortable, while a major injury may only be noticeable when you are exercising. Read 9 things you should know about pain
At Cherry Creek Wellness Center, we’re devoted to helping our patients prevent injuries. Are you interested in learning more about our services? Contact us
today by calling 303-333-3493