Proper Lifting Form: A Guide to Work and Gym Safety

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Proper form is extremely important for lifting, especially if you’re working with heavy weight. If you’ve been working or exercising for a while, your body becomes tired, less focused, and more susceptible to accidents. Whether you’re building muscle at the gym or breaking a sweat at work, use this guide to help keep your lifts pain free.

Proper form for Safe Lifting

Carrying heavy weights can put excess strain on your spine and back muscles, causing or aggravating back injuries. Before reaching for that box or lifting that bar, take a beat to thoroughly assess your posture. Paying attention to your form and using the muscles intended for the movement may be the only things standing between you and a painful back injury.

Follow these steps to help reduce the stress on your back when lifting:

  • Maintain a wide base of support by keeping your feet shoulder-width apart and your back straight.
  • Keep the weight close to you while lifting.
  • Squat down and slowly lift the weight, utilizing your hips and legs instead of your back.
  • When carrying a heavy weight, use your feet to change direction.
  • Do not twist or bend your back when lifting.
  • Do not lift or handle more than you can manage.
Proper Lifing Form Infographic

How to Address a Lift-Related Injury

While the above steps may help you reduce your risk of injury, it’s not the only risk factor involved in lifting. You can lift a relatively light weight with perfect form and still end up with back pain. Age, preexisting medical conditions or injuries, and nutritional deficiencies are just a few of the many variables that can also affect your muscle and joint health.

If you were injured after lifting something heavy, or notice a lingering pain after a workout, use the RICE method to address the pain quickly.

Rest: If you felt an acute pain in your back or shoulders after lifting, put down the weight and discontinue activity. If the pain is severe, you may need assistance moving to a safe place to rest. Do not try to “walk it off” when you first feel pain, as this might make the injury worse.

Ice: Use an ice pack on the affected area to help reduce inflammation and control blood flow. The coolness from the ice pack will also help to numb the area and relieve some of the pain. Keep the ice pack on the area for 20 minutes at a time, giving yourself a break every 20 minutes to re-examine the area. You can also try alternating ice and heat to help relax your muscles.

Compression: Using a brace or wrap can help reduce swelling and provide stability. Loosen the wrap if you feel any numbness or tingling around the wrapped area.

Elevation: You can also help reduce swelling and pain by elevating the injured area above your heart. If you’re suffering from a back injury, lying down either on your back or your side may help reduce pain and stress.

If the pain persists or worsens, you may need to call your doctor to help diagnose your injury and develop a treatment plan.

Get Back to Doing What You Love

You might notice loss of strength and reduced range of motion after your injury. While it does take time and effort to fully recover your strength, you can improve your recovery with help from a professional musculoskeletal care provider.

Airrosti providers are dedicated to finding and fixing pain at the source. If you’re struggling with chronic pain, or if you’ve recently experienced an acute injury, our providers can help find the root cause of your pain and provide lasting relief in most cases. With our proven track record of effectively diagnosing and fixing most musculoskeletal conditions, we’re confident we can help you return to the activities you love most.

We offer in-office and virtual options through Airrosti Remote Recovery.

Call now at (800) 404-6050 or click the button below to schedule your appointment today!

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