Do you lift objects while on the job or even when just working around the house? Did you know that back injuries due to lifting account for more than 20 percent of all job-related injuries? Have you ever wondered if there is a way to continue doing your job without having to worry about the constant risk of getting a back injury?
The good news is that your chiropractor can answer all those questions for you, and the answers will likely make you smile. That’s because it’s relatively easy to learn how to lift objects in such a way that you can avoid painful back injuries. Then, even if you do suffer a back injury due to incorrect lifting, or just from an on-the-job accident, your chiropractor can help you recover in the most efficient way possible.
Educate Yourself and Seek Expert Help
What’s the smartest way to avoid back injuries while lifting objects, heavy or otherwise? For starters, find out about the potential dangers of lifting and the most common solutions. You can do that by spending a small amount of time researching the question for yourself. But be careful because there is a lot of misinformation out there, even a few urban legends and myths about lifting that can get you into serious physical trouble.
After educating yourself a bit and finding out about myths and misinformation, speak with your chiropractor if you have a job that requires lifting. A chiropractic physician is a specialist in back pain issues and can start off by letting your know if your back is in good shape. If you need a spinal adjustment, the chiropractor can give you one.
The good news is that if you take the time to learn about avoiding back injuries and learning the proper way to lift any object, heavy or light, you’ll be well on the way to having a healthy back and avoiding the many long-term problems that can result from unnecessary back injuries.
Effective Ways to Avoid Back Injuries While Lifting
While you peruse the following list, ask yourself honestly whether you do each one when you lift something at home or at work. If not, make a mental note to change your “lifting behavior” in order to avoid injury. Here are five reliable ways to lift objects properly:
- Examine the object: Take a closer look at what you are about to lift. Test to see if it’s stable, heavy, awkward, or too hot or cold to lift.
- Use tools: If you have straps, tongs, or any tool designed to help you lift, use it, but be sure to use it correctly. If you don’t know, ask someone.
- Look around: After you lift the object, do you have a direct path to your destination? If not, clear the way. Many lifting injuries are actually falls.
- Be slow and smooth: Lift slowly and move your body in a smooth, non-jerky manner.
- Use your body’s core, not your back: Always attempt to use your core muscles rather than your back to lift any object, even a very light one.
Lifting Myths That Can Lead To Injury
Know about the lifting myths that can cause pain and suffering for your back. Here are a few of the most common ones:
- Myth: I can’t get hurt lifting a light object.
Fact: If you twist your torso or fall, even a very light object can cause serious injury.
- Myth: I’m strong, so I can lift without risk of injury.
Fact: Strength has nothing to do with risk of injury, especially when it comes to lifting. Most lifting injuries are due to improper form, not the weight of the object.
- Myth: If I wear a back belt, I’m totally safe.
Fact: Back belts do not prevent injury.
- Myth: Back injuries are no big deal. I can just sleep it off.
Fact: Back injuries can mean life-long health problems and serious injury. Unlike some other parts of the body, the back is very easily injured and takes quite a long time to heal.
Sometimes knowing what not to do is as important as knowing what to do. That’s true with lifting, so beware you don’t fall victim to any of the above myths.
Effects of Chronic Back Pain
It might not be obvious, but long-term back pain, whether the result of an injury or an illness, can have deep effects on your physical and mental health. What many people don’t know is that both body and mind suffer when we have to endure intense or long-lasting pain. Here are some of the most common negative results of long-term back pain:
- Depression Long-term pain can lead to problems with depression. Many people who are forced to deal with chronic pain have to work with a trained psychologist to deal with minor and major forms of clinical depression.
- Physical inactivity and lethargy It’s only natural to want to avoid sports and fun physical activities when you’re dealing with pain.
- Social isolation People who suffer chronic pain often avoid others to the detriment of their family and social life.
- Drug addiction, primarily to pain-killers like opioids Sadly, many adults and youngsters who deal with pain issues are tempted to abuse pain-killing prescription drugs like opioids. Currently, opioid addiction is a major national problem.
Living Your Life With a Healthy, Injury-Free Back
Our staff of chiropractic physicians at Delaware Integrative Medicine can help you learn how to keep your back in top form. If you already have an injury, one of our chiropractors can treat you and put you back on the road to long-term health. Back injuries can lead to lifelong suffering unless they are treated correctly, promptly, and efficiently. That’s the main advantage of chiropractic care.
The Delaware Integrative Medicine team can teach you to prevent back injuries, especially if you have a job that requires lifting. Remember, it’s usually not the weight of the object that causes the injury but the way you position your body when you lift it. Our doctors have treated and educated many back injury patients over the years and we always strive to show people how to keep themselves healthy.
If you need treatment for a back injury or simply want to learn how to do your job safely, give us a call today. We are currently accepting new patients and there is never a charge for a short question-and-answer session, either in person or over the phone. We look forward to helping you stay healthy and injury free.