Moving day can be both an exciting and hectic time. The whole day can turn into a whirlwind blur of boxes, tape, and trucks. It is important to recognize that a long day of lifting can put your back at risk of injury if you do not use proper technique. Many injuries result from carrying something that is too heavy (a.k.a. an overload injury) or doing the same motion too many times (a.k.a. an overuse injury). To avoid injury keep in mind proper lifting technique - your back will thank you!
As you prep and pack, consider using boxes with handles, make sure you take frequent breaks, drink a lot of water, and have people there to help you when it comes to the heavy lifting.
Here are our tips for Safe Packing and Lifting:
1. Proper Set-Up
Pack at waist height, ie. put the box on a bed or kitchen table. In preparation for lifting, use a wide base of support by standing with your feet hip width apart. Bend at your knees and hinge at your hips to bring yourself down to the same level as the load you’re lifting. Keep your chest up and engage your core to keep a neutral spine rather than rounding your back forward.
2. Stay Close
Avoid reaching for loads by standing close to the item you're lifting and packing boxes at table height so you do not have to bend over as far. As you carry it keep the load close to your body as well. It is also important to keep breathing normally as you carry the load.
3. Avoid Twisting
If you want to change directions or move the item to an area not in front of you, avoid twisting at your torso. Instead, take small steps in one place to pivot and change direction.
4. Use the Right Muscles
Rather than using your back muscles, which can cause injury, use your arms and leg muscles to safely lift and lower the load. Bend your knees to lift with ease.
5. Slow and Steady
When lifting you want to avoid fast jerky movements as well as throwing items. Instead, lift the load in a controlled manner using the right muscles to keep it close to your body and smoothly lift the item off of the ground. The same goes for lowering the load.
6. Use Equipment
Make it as easy on your body as possible! Using a furniture dolly or hand truck to move heavy items will make moving them much safer. Another great option is using lifting straps for larger items, which will make the job easier without having to put your body into awkward positions.
After your move, if you have residual discomfort lasting more than 48 hours or if pain is severe, consider calling Uptown Chiropractic to schedule a check-up.