Looking for an effective treatment option, contact the manual osteopathic therapist
We all think we know how to lift properly and often in disbelief when we injure ourselves while lifting “properly”. As the old saying “lift with your hips and not with your back” the keyword is hip. Using proper techniques while utilizing the gluteal (buttocks) muscles to perform correct lifting will save you and your back. Manual Osteopathy is a great addition to postural improvement. Osteopathic mobilizations can help reduce muscle strains and tightness which helps reduce postural imbalances. This blog will focus on ways we can reduce injuring our back and will educate in proper posture during lifting.
There are three basic back injury patterns that people tend to get from lifting:
1) Muscle Injury: Changing position while lifting can place stress on the lower back. Increased stress can cause tiny tears in the muscle, known as muscle strain, a common form of a back injury. This type of injury can be painful and makes moving the affected area difficult. A strain can typically heal, often takes a few weeks to heal completely.
2) Disc Injury: Discs in our vertebrae act as load-bearing cushions, one of their primary functions is to absorb shock and load. Often excess stress can cause the fibrous rings in the disc to bulge and rupture. A disc injury can cause radiating pain (in the form of tingling) down the leg and hips.
3) Joint Injury: Joints between bones are capable of handling stress from lifting, but improper lifting techniques (even lightweight) can irritate and cause immobility or a “locked” feeling in the joints.
To perform a proper lift, follow these guidelines:
1) Bend at the hips, not the back: Going low helps, using the hip to lift will prevent unnecessary strain on your back. Utilizing proper knee bend isn’t enough, it can also lead to a lower back injury.
2) Keep chest forward: When the hip is bent and the chest is pushed forward, the back is aligned in the correct position, the muscles will be at an optimal position to maintain a good posture.
3) Keep the weight close to the body:
Think center of gravity, the further away from an object from the center the greater the force required to hold it. If the object is kept closer to the body, you are less likely to stretch out your arms and hinder back posture.
I know you’re thinking, this is lifting not rocket science. But knowing the proper steps and methods can help your body from getting injured. During the heat of the action, we often forget about this simple method, practicing proper technique will ensure you keep your back injury-free.
Manual Osteopathy can help lower the chances of postural injury, tight muscles and stiff joints can prevent our body from reaching an optimal range of movement. Through the wonders of manual therapy, osteopathic mobilizations can help open up the affected area, reducing the rate of injuries. Manual Osteopathic practitioners can educate you with proper techniques to help with posture.