Lifting – a pain in the back?

lift

Did you know that approximately 80% of people will experience pain in their backs at some point in their lives.  One sure way way to end up with an aching back is lifting something the wrong way.  Do you know how to lift a heavy package that arrives at your door or how to lift a squirming toddler.  Why not take this quiz and see how much you know about lifting!!

1. Before you start lifting something, you should test to see how heavy it is by pushing it with your feet or hands.

True

False

2. If you want to lift something from the floor:

a.  Keep your feet very far apart with your knees locked and bend at the waist to reach and lift

b.  Keep your feet shoulder-width apart, bend at the knees and squat until you are level with the object, then use your leg muscles to raise yourself up.

c.  Keep your legs straight with your feet together and bend over to pick it up

d.  All of the above

3. If you twist sideways while holding onto something heavy, you are more likely to injure your back.

True

False

4. In order for you to lift a heavy object safely, how close should it be?

a.  Within arms length

b.  At least two inches away from your body

c.  As close as possible

d.  None of the above

If you are picking up something small and light from the floor, it is okay to bend over at the waist and pick it up.

True

False

6. Which factors put you at greater risk for injuring your back whilst lifting?

a.  Smoking

b. Poor posture

c.  Lifting very slowly

d.  All of the above

7.  If you lift heavy objects often, you should always wear a back support?

True

False

8.  Whilst travelling, which of these is the best choice for carry-on luggage?

a.  A wheeled suitcase

b.  A backpack with padded straps

c.  A duffel bag with a padded handle

d.  A courier bag with a wide shoulder strap

Now let’s see how you did!!

Answers

1. The correct answer is:  False

Experts recommend that you check out how heavy a load is before you try to move it.  If it doesn’t move easily, you know it’s pretty heavy and you should ask someone to help you.  You should also plan ahead and visualise your moves so you know what to expect.

2.  The correct answer is: b.

You should always use your leg muscles to help you lift something heavy, including your young child.  The reason for this is that your leg muscles are much stronger than your back or arm muscles.  It is also important to keep your feet shoulder width apart for stability and it helps to tighten your stomach muscles to give your back more support.

3.  The correct answer is:  True

Twisting whilst holding a heavy object can easily hurt your back.  Make sure you stand directly in front of whatever you are lifting.  If you do need to turn, do it once you are fully upright so that your body is always facing in the direction you want it to go.

4.  The correct answer is: c.

Holding objects away from your body takes more energy and increases the load on your spine and arms.

5.  The correct answer is: False

Even when picking up a tissue, you still need to keep your back as straight and supported as possible.

6. The correct answer is: d.

smoking can affect your back in several ways – it reduces blood flow, is linked to faster degeneration of the spinal discs and can lead to osteoporosis.  Poor posture adds a lot of stress on muscles, joints and ligaments.  Believe it or not lifting too slowly can be dangerous because it puts you in a strained position for longer than necessary.

7.  The correct answer is: False

Back supports aren’t a substitute for proper lifting techniques, and though they seem to provide back support, recent studies have shown that back supports don’t reduce the possibility of injury whilst lifting.

8.  The correct answer is: a.

As you need to lug carry-on bags over long distances, they should be as light as possible.  Wheeled bags are the best because you don’t have to lift the weight yourself.  Next best is a backpack with padded straps, which distributes the weight evenly on both sides.

Did you get them all right!  Should you require any further information or would like to speak to a member of our team call us on: Luton 01582 579687 or Hitchin 01462 420077 alternatively e-mail us on: hitchin@healesclinics.com or luton@healesclinics.com


Peter Heale Chiropractor in Hitchin and LutonFrom the team at Heale's Chiropractic Clinics
Over 30 years of helping people in Hitchin and Luton and the surrounding areas of Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire

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