Did You Know?
As much as 80% of the adult population will experience lower back injuries over their lifetimes. These injuries are usually caused by improper lifting techniques and overuse. Low back pain and injuries attributed to manual lifting continue as one of the leading occupational health and safety issues facing preventive medicine. Injuries cost both employee and employer unnecessary lost time, money, and production!
How Much Can I Lift?
There is not one generic answer. All workers should consider, how much can I lift safely? Everybody has different capabilities, as there are numerous variations in human physiology, such as bone structure, muscle mass, age, and overall health of the individual. All of these factors need to be taken into consideration when recommending lifting limits. Also, how often one lifts and the conditions under which the lift is made all affect the safety of the lifting. It is very common, and a big mistake, for a worker to overestimate their lifting limits.
Unfortunately, you only are given one back for your entire life. It only takes one bad injury from an ill planned lift to adversely affect the stability of your back for the rest of your life. It is much better to be safe and be aware of your lifting limits to protect your back from injury. It will be better for both the employee and the employer to always work safely in relation to both personal health and work productivity.
To answer questions about your lifting limits, it takes experience and understanding of the related factors. Work environment and employee visual observation are usually the most helpful for an independent evaluate. Things taken into consideration would include:
Dynamic Loading Activities - movements carried out under a load or strain. They include lifting, transferring, carrying, pushing, and pulling.
Postural Tolerances - workers ability to work in a specific posture or position for nominated periods of time. Such as standing, sitting, reaching overhead or forward, stooping, squatting, kneeling, crawling etc…
Dynamic Activities - look at movements without loads and include walking, balancing, climbing stairs, and ladders.
Worker Survey - is a detailed history of the worker which helps to evaluate any limitations or past injuries and how they may affect future performance. It also assists an evaluate to find and eliminate potential areas of work hazards.
How Can I Prevent Back Injury?
The following are a few basic guidelines for the worker to consider in preventing back injury:
* Always plan the lift! Consider the weight and size, how far it has to be moved, where is it going to end up?
Is the object to be lifted cumbersome, will it be easily manipulated. Is the lift a one or two person job? Is
there anything in the way that needs to be moved prior to lifting?
* Never attempt to lift any object that you could not lift with good lifting posture at least 10 times in a row.
If the weight is too heavy or the object too awkward, GET HELP, DON’T TRY TO LIFT IT ALONE.
Find someone who can help carry it, or if possible, break the load into two smaller, more manageable loads.
* Never lift objects over the height of your shoulders that are of substantial weight. This places your lower
back in a compromised bio-mechanical position and at a high potential for injury.
Where Can I Go For Back Pain?
Cedar City Chiropractic and Rehabilitation is located at 1180 S. Sage Ste. E, Cedar City, Utah. It is a family friendly place that puts your health as its priority. We specialize in bio-mechanics and understand how the back works, and how to help with pain management. Many patients come in hurting after lifting at work and leave happy with their pain controlled and functional.
At Cedar City Chiropractic and Rehabilitation, Doctors Josh Williams and M. Curtis Hobson have the solution to more than just your back. With professional, on-hand dietitians, health coaches, massage therapist, and Chiropractic physicians, we can focus on your overall health and wellness that will allow you to run FASTER, jump HIGHER, recover QUICKER, and will ultimately achieve your greatest wellness goals.
At Cedar City Chiropractic and Rehab... We have MORE than just your back!