One Simple Trick to Protect Your Low Back When Lifting

Bad posture for lifting something heavy
Change the way you lift with this one simple trick. Wetcake Studio/iStock Vectors/Getty Images

People often experience low back pain when lifting simple things; a quick reach to bend down to grab a paper clip may send intense pain into your back.  The item isn't heavy, so why would it cause such incapacitating pain?

One of the most common causes of low back pain is frequent forward bending when lifting items.  When you bend to lift items, the normal forward curve in your spine, called a lordosis, is reversed.

 This reversal of the lordosis in your lower back can place increased stress and strain on your spinal discs, joints, and muscles.

So is there a way to prevent the reversal of your lordosis when lifting?  How can you protect your back when you bend to decrease the likelihood of low back pain or sciatica?

When bending forward to pick up things there is one simple trick to help keep your spine in an appropriate position and minimize strain on your low back: keep your head up.

If you must bend forward to pick something up, try keeping your head and neck in a upright position. Instead of looking down at the item on the floor, look straight ahead and slightly up in front of you.  The upright position of your neck naturally helps to keep your low back in the beneficial, forward-curved position and protects your spinal discs, joints, and muscles.

If you are experiencing low back pain, a visit to your physical therapist may be beneficial.

 He or she can teach you exercises to perform to help your condition.  Your PT can also teach you how to attain and maintain proper posture for your back.

By learning the proper ways to lift, and by keeping your head up when lifting, you may be able to maintain your spine in an optimum position to prevent episodes of debilitating back pain.

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