Blog Post: August 23rd, 2021
By Trina Stone, Doctor of Physical Therapy
Injuries to the body can occur from one traumatic event or as the result of repetitive stresses that compound over time. However small the forces may be, this is why it is important to follow safe lifting/carrying body mechanics each time a person needs to move an item. I’ve worked with patients that thought they were surgical candidates after picking up single sheets of paper from the floor, for example. So here are a few tips to remember when picking up and carrying items.
1. Step close to the item to be lifted to reduce forces through the shoulders/back/legs during the lift and while carrying.
2. Bend from the legs, or squat, verus bending from the low back to reach low items.
3. Lift from the legs and exhale while exerting to reduce stress through the body.
4. Hold the item close to your body in a comfortable position.
5. Turn by stepping, versus twisting the back, to reduce sheer forces.
6. Step close to the surface to set the item on.
7. Lower the item by bending the legs versus leaning forward.
8. Keep in mind that some items due to weight, or size, or awkward shape may require two or more people to lift safely, so use discretion to protect your health and the health of those with you.
If you do end up injuring yourself while lifting/carrying objects or doing other activities, we are here to help! Or, if you still have questions on proper form of other tasks such as yardwork, cleaning, etc, feel free to give us a call at on of our locations, and we would be happy to help!