If you are experiencing back pain, please refer to the section of this website dealing with Troubleshooting Pain and the page massage and exercise.
To learn more about prevention and the causes and treatments for back pain read the articles on back and neck pain.
- Maintain the three normal curves in your back when doing an activity.
Develop and/or maintain good abdominal strength.Improve your general fitness level and flexibility. Running, swimming, and aerobics and weight training all increase strength and stamina and should be a part of your daily routine.Avoid sudden, jerky movements which might "overload" your muscles during an activity.Warm up your body prior to lifting.
- Bend at the hips and knees; never bend from the waist.
- Turn or pivot your body using your feet, not your back. Always turn and face the object you plan to lift or move.
- Use your power zone; carry the object close to your body. Keep your elbows and arms near you.
- Center your body weight over your feet, and then start lifting with a thrust of your legs.
- Position your feet properly. One foot goes next to the load and one goes behind it.
- Grip the load using your full palm. Fingers alone are too weak.
Know your own strength.
- Do not exceed your limitations (e.g., duration of work, weight/size of object).
- Ask for help -- it will take much longer to recover from an injury than to take time to get help or reduce a load.
- How high does it have to be lifted? Use appropriate tools to elevate the load.
- How far does it have to be carried? Use a cart if necessary.
- Will this lifting be a regular job requirement? If so, determine if you can perform this task on a regular basis and not cause stress to your back.
- Am I trying to impress anyone by lifting this? Ask for help.
- Treat an injury immediately; don't work through pain.
- Listen to your body and it will tell you when something may be wrong.
- If you cannot lift safely, don't do it!
- Push, don't pull loads.
- If you are seated, do not bend over to pick something up off the floor. Squat down and stand up straight from the floor.
- Studies show that a female who is physically fit can lift as much as 50 lbs overhead. The average is 28 lbs.
- Men who are physically fit can lift 70 lbs overhead. The average is 37 lbs.