Skip to Content
Home > Health Library > Back Problems: Proper Lifting
View Additional Content In This Section
No one is immune to having a back injury.
Whether you have a strong back or have hurt your back before, it is well worth
The time you take to use the right lifting mechanics is far
less than the days, weeks, or months it can take to heal from a back
focusing on the right way to lift, review the following common lifting mistakes that easily lead to a back injury:
I only need to be careful about body mechanics when
I'm lifting something that's heavy or awkward.
Regardless of the weight of an object, careful
lifting is important. You can injure your back simply by turning the wrong way
while lifting a light object.
Continue to Why?
Back injury is best avoided at all costs. After the first time you have
injured your back, it becomes more vulnerable to future injury. A back injury
can alter your entire quality of life and possibly your livelihood, especially
if it returns or becomes chronic.
Poor lifting technique can
injure your back in various ways:
Poor lifting technique can cause an injury to the
muscle, spinal discs, or bone.
The back is a complex system of bone and
connective tissue, any or all of which can be injured by poor lifting
Continue to How?
Follow these basic rules to
protect your back while lifting:
Safe lifting is intuitive—we do it without thinking
People tend to lean over and lift with their
backs. However easy it may be to do, this can lead to injury. Take time for
conscious thought to stop, plan, and lift safely.
Continue to Where?
If you need information specific to your daily
activities, you can consult with:
You can find more information in the following
If you want to learn more, the following resources are available:
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS)
provides information and education to raise the public's awareness of
musculoskeletal conditions, with an emphasis on preventive measures. The AAOS
website contains information on orthopedic conditions and treatments, injury
prevention, and wellness and exercise.
The American Academy of Physical Medicine and
Rehabilitation (AAPMR) is the medical society for the specialty of physical
medicine and rehabilitation. The website includes a directory of member
PM&R physicians (physiatrists) that can be searched by last name, location,
or telephone number.
The American Physical Therapy Association is a national
organization representing nearly 70,000 physical therapists, physical therapist
assistants, and students. Its goal is to foster advancements in physical
therapist education, practice, and research. The APTA also provides information
and education to the public about physical therapy and how it is used to treat
Return to topic:
December 20, 2011
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & Joan Rigg, PT, OCS - Physical Therapy
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.
To learn more visit Healthwise.org
© 1995-2013 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
2650 Siskiyou Blvd., Medford, OR 97504