What’s the Safest Way To Lift?

Posted in Spinal Hygiene at 10:37 AM by Dr. Greathouse

Here’s a new study that supports what many chiropractors, including myself, teach individuals to avoid to prevent back pain.

The study identified specific muscle activation or lack there-of during different types of lifts. What was found was that if you stoop or bend at the waist, in combination with a twist, key muscles that stabilize the spinal joints actually turn off. It’s theorized that once those muscles are deactivated you become more prone to injuring yourself during that maneuver.

So, to avoid that predisposing scenario, it’s recommended that you keep the object that you are lifting or about to lift directly in front of you or simply don’t twist with a bend at the waist!

Take note that “about to lift” in the paragraph above is underlined. Historically, many individuals report injuring their backs by simply bending & twisting before the actual lift. Two thirds of your body weight sits above the last vertebrae, so your own body weight loads the spine as well.

Stooping or bending at the waist is biomechanically unsound and so it’s recommended you bend at the hips & knees, and only slightly flex the spine whenever possible. If actually lifting, keep the load as close to the body as possible.


The stress associated with leaning forward (stooping), is compounded by reaching. Add a twist and the stress/load increases more. Add a lift with that, even a small object, and the load compounds even further.

Bend with Twist

Many injuries occur at busy periods and we become less aware of what we are doing.

Always be mindful of your movements and posture.

Be Kind to Your Spine

Dr. Greathouse

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