There are three different types of lifting injuries that can occur in the back. Lifting injuries happen when there is either a weakness of protective structures (muscles and ligaments), weak core muscular strength or the body isn’t prepared for the movement or weight of the object. Proper lifting technique play a major role in preventing injures, however often in a busy workplace these techniques are not utilised all the time predisposing the body to an injury. Once there has been and injury to the back it is common to re injure it during the healing process.
Chiropractic care can help to detect and treat predisposing factors in the spine and extremities that might lead to an injury in the future so make sure to get yourself checked!
Three different types of lifting injuries are:
It is possible to have a mix of the three as well which can prolong the healing process.
This type of injury usually occurs on the upward phase of lifting. Often the weight of the object is too heavy for the person which leads to a great deal of stress being applied to the muscles. When there is too much stress on a muscle, microscopic tears develop, and this is often known as “muscle strain”, this is a common feeling for most people as this is how muscle is developed at the gym. However when the tears don’t happen gradually it can lead to bigger tears which can become a back injury.
Muscle injuries are often very painful and can make it difficult to move the body in certain positions, even simple movements like lifting an arm or breathing can be painful. Muscle strains often heal well but the recovery time can be anything from a few weeks or months to full recovery.
A Disc is a fluid filled sac that sits in between two vertebra (bones that make up the spine). The most common movement that causes disc injuries is a forward bend followed by a twisting movement. However, 25 % of the population have disc injuries without any painful symptoms, it is often a lifting injury that then can create a symptomatic disc protrusion. Painful disc protrusions are most common in the lower back and neck and can radiate pain down to the legs or arms depending on the location.
The entire spine has many joints where two parts of the bones meet. Normally these joints move smoothly during every day movements, but once you add extra weight when lifting improperly these joints can feel “locked” or can make the person stand in a position that doesn’t cause pain.
Below are some tips to help prevent lifting injuries
Keep your chest forward - Bend from the hips and knees.
Lead with your hips - Make sure the hips are moving first and the shoulders will follow, this will reduce twisting movements.
Keep the object close to your body - This keeps the body in its optimal centre of gravity, reducing the amount of force needed to lift the object.
Reduce the weight - Make sure the object is not heavier than your body can handle, if you need to take items out or ask someone else to help you.
Be aware of the angle - Try to have your body square to the item you are lifting as it protects against added strains, as well make sure the item is not higher than your belly button.