How To Lift Properly To Avoid Lower Back Pain


Lifting and bending incorrectly is one of the most common causes of initial back pain injury. Many of us don’t even know we are using the incorrect lifting and bending technique. If you want to know how to lift properly to avoid lower back pain, the most simple advice is to BEND YOUR KNEES!


It is really quite simple – but most people bend from the waist and rotate as they bend – that is the dangerous part – twisting while you are bending from the waist. Do that often enough and soon enough you will get the dreaded back wrench where you can’t move and are in serious pain.


In this article from it is explained how adults have lost the correct bending technique, and toddlers use the correct technique naturally by squatting.

There are also some excellent informative videos below demonstrating the correct lifting techniques to avoid back injuries.



How To Lift Properly To Avoid Lower Back Pain

correct lifting techniques

Bending and lifting correctly is paramount in avoiding lower back injuries

Watch a toddler pick up a ball and then ask an adult to do the same task. What’s the most obvious difference you notice? The toddler hinges at the hips, sitting back and down into a deep squat to grasp the ball, pulling it close to the body.

The toddler powers through the hips, glutes and thighs in returning to the starting position. It’s all in the hips!

The adult flexes forward at the waist and lumbar spine with little to no involvement of the hips, glutes and thighs. The altered mechanics of bending at the waist, as opposed to the hips, places extreme vector loads on the lumbar spine, leading to microtrauma, dysfunctional movement patterning, and eventually pain.

Optimal movement patterning and proper lifting techniques never had to be taught to the toddler. They simply lifted without thinking. Functional movement is innate to the nervous system in pre-programmed stages of development. So, what happens during the time frame from toddler to adulthood that contributes to lifting technique going horribly wrong? Quite simply: We forget how to move. Add to that the laziness factor and countless hours people spend sitting in our culture, and you have a recipe for inefficient movement. Essentially, our rear-ends have now become our feet!

Toddlers have to yet experience these outside contributors to movement dysfunction, otherwise known as life, and therefore move efficiently. The problem is adults don’t’ know they move wrong! They have crossed over to subconscious dysfunction; their brain perceives the abnormal movement patterning as normal. This inefficient movement leads to microtrauma, pain and injury

See entire article



Here is some great instruction on the mechanics of lifting from physical therapist Manu Kalia. There are some excellent demonstrations of proper lifting techniques.



This video is from Dr Robert Simmons from the Chiropractic And Kinesiology Center. It is a really cool animation outlining the correct lifting methods.



This video explains how to lift properly if you are pregnant or are regularly lifting babies or baby carriers. These are great demonstrations for new mums susceptible to lower back pain from lifting.



And another gem of a tip from Chiropractor Dr Payne on how to bend properly while brushing your teeth or bending to pick up something and incorporating the correct pivoting technique instead of twisting. Common sense but it will save you from a silly injury.



So the best thing to do if you want to know how to lift properly to avoid lower back pain is to simply not bend from the waist. And if you think it is all about the weight you are lifting, think again. It all comes down to technique, whether you are lifting a car or a feather – you can easily do great harm picking up a piece of paper from the floor if you bend incorrectly.


Bend you knees EVERY time no matter what when you are lifting and bending and you will protect yourself from back injury, and reduce the chance of a herniated disc. It is that simple.


Get more information on lifting techniques from The 7 Day Back Pain Cure that is available for free on our website.




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