Lifting Techniques

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Back Pain can be prevented proper body mechanics.

Safe Lifting Techniques

Safe Lifting, Bending, and Carrying Techniques

Lifting Objects:

Safe lifting techniques help prevent back injuries, but if an object is extremely heavy back strain and back pain may still occur. The back has physical limitations.


When lifting a heavy object, keep the back straight. Keep the feet apart to help you balance. Bend with knees, not the waist. Bend your knees, keeping your feet flat on the ground.

Your knees should not extend beyond your toes. You can lean forward slightly as long as you keep the back straight, not curved. (Bend at the hips, not the waist) Hold the object close to the body.
Lift slowly.

If you can't lift slowly the object is too heavy for you and you should not be lifting it. Though lifting with the legs prevents injury to the back, you may strain your knees joints when lifting an object too heavy for you. Ask for help. If you need to turn move your feet, do not twist your back.

Carrying Objects:

When carrying heavy objects, use both hands to distribute the weight evenly, and keep the object close to your body. If the object is too heavy for you ask for assistance, use a dolly. Some objects are easily lifted and carried for a short distance, but not easily carried for a long distance. Carrying a heavy backpack over one shoulder often causes back pain. Carrying a slightly heavy purse can also lead to back pain and neck pain over time.

If you have to choose between pushing and pulling an object (lawn mover for example), choose pushing. Pushing an object allows you to use your leg muscles to move the object. If you have knee problems, keep in mind that pushing a heavy object may strain the knees.

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