Whether it’s a child, bushel of laundry, or a box, there will always be a need for you to lift something now and then. Your spine is designed to handle some level of stress and strain, but improper lifting of the things you need to carry can result in an unexpected back injury. Prevent back injuries by taking a few precautions when lifting.

1. Keep Your Chest Forward

Naturally shift your chest forward by bending at your hips instead of your back. By pushing your chest out, you’ll retain your spinal alignment as much as possible while reducing your risk of injury. Keeping your chest forward also allows your legs and hips to provide more support.

2. Lead with Your Hips

Avoid twisting as you bend by leading with your hips. Further protect your spine by keeping your shoulders lined up with your hips, which also helps prevent an urge to twist as you lift. Paying attention to form and posture ensures your spine is getting sufficient support. If you have to shift directions, lead with your hips so your shoulders follow suit.

3. Bring Weight Close to Your Body

Objects require more effort to lift the greater the distance they are from your body. Ease your burden and spare your back by keeping whatever it is you’re lifting as close to your body as possible. Keeping heavy items close to your body makes it easier to get a better grip and reduces the risk of injury from an unexpected slip in case you have to quickly grab something to keep it from falling.

Basic everyday tasks can easily result in injury if you’re not careful. If you do experience any sudden back pain while lifting something or immediately after lifting, take time out and get some rest or periodically apply ice or heat to the affected area. If this doesn’t help much after a few days or you’re in extreme pain, see your doctor or a Mission Viejo back surgeon.

If severe pain in your back or neck is affecting your quality of life, reach out to Dr. Hamid Mir to diagnose the source of your pain and determine the treatment you need. Dr. Mir specializes in the lumbar and cervical disc replacement Mission Viejo patients claim has helped them find relief. Call 949-860-7498 today to set up an appointment.