The holiday rush can be stressful, both physically and mentally. When it comes to physical stress, lifting and carrying heavy objects can take a toll on the lower back and spine. The additional weight adds excessive strain to our muscles.
Doctors recommend specific lifting techniques using proper body alignment to evenly distribute our weight. This prevents soreness, pain and strain. During the holiday season, use this approach to prevent muscle strain:
First: Establish a wide base of support. Keep legs shoulder-width apart with one foot slightly ahead of the other.
Second: Lower yourself by squatting through the hips and knees to pick up the object. If necessary, put one knee on the floor and another in front of you and tuck your hands under or around the base of the object.
Third: Lift slowly by straightening hips and knees (do not engage your back muscles). Avoid twisting as you lift and keep the spine straight.
Fourth: Hold the object close to your body while keeping it level with your belly button. Take careful steps. When changing directions, lead with your hips and keep shoulders in line.
Fifth: Set down the object carefully, only bending your knees.
Here’s what to do in advance:
- Warm up your legs and back with a few stretches.
- Plan the route where you will carry the object and remove any objects that could cause an accident.
- Dry any wet or slippery surfaces.
Take the time to lift boxes, bins, and heavy objects the correct way and save yourself injury and pain.
PromedX Sports Injury & Wellness Centre in Thornhill, Ontario specializes in treatment for injuries caused by heavy lifting during the holidays and year-round. We offer chiropractic, massage, osteopathy, and spinal decompression therapy to relieve sore backs and muscles. We also offer products to help ease pressure on certain physical areas. Please call us at (905) 882-7688 and let us help you. Happy holidays!