Avenue Clinic

Avenue Clinic

Good Lifting technique: Tips to help prevent back injuries

  • Before you lift an object think through the task. Consider the risks factors and decide where you are going to place the object and how you will get it there. Make sure you clear a path.
  • Get as close to the load/object as possible. Your feet should be placed approximately a shoulder width apart, one in front of the other. A solid base is very important.
  • Squat down, bend your hips and knees only, avoid kneeling. If necessary you can put one knee on the floor. Keep your back as upright as possible and tighten your abdominal muscles. Get a good grip on the load. Test the weight.
  • Lift in a smooth and controlled manner. Straighten your knees using your thigh muscles, keeping your back upright.
  • Keep the load close. Lead with your hips as you change direction.
  • Put down the object/load carefully by squatting again with your hips and knees.

Tips:

  • If the object is too heavy or large, then make sure you have someone who can help you lift/move it.
  • If you are turning whilst holding the object, move your feet, avoid twisting.
  • Keep your eyes up when lifting, this helps you maintain a better position of the spine.
  • Never lift an object above shoulder level.

 

When lifting a patient or rolling them in bed, the same rules from above will apply.

  • Always keep the person being moved close to your body. Keep your arms close to your body, it puts less strain on your shoulders/arms and back.
  • Communicate with the person you are lifting, give them clear instructions and don’t rush. Ask the patient to help you if they are able to.
  • If you are moving a person from a bed to a chair, make sure the chair is close to the bed.
  • If the person is too heavy get help, or use a mechanical aid such as a hoist, sling or sliding sheet.

 

References:

www.nhs.uk/Livewell/workplacehealth/Pages/safe-lifting-tips.aspx

www.webmd.com/back-pain/proper-lifting-technique

www.orthopaedics.about.com/cs/backpain/ht/lift.htm

www.orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00096

 

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