Lifting technique for preventing back injury

Follow these guidelines for lifting to avoid injuring the discs of your lower back:

  • Lift with your legs, not your back, by squatting and bending your knees. Rise slowly. See an illustration of how to lift with your legs rather than your back.
  • Try to avoid situations in which you must lift by bending forward at the waist.
  • Keep your upper back straight while maintaining a slight arch in your lower back.
  • Keep the load as close to your body as possible, at the level of your navel.
  • Never lift a heavy object above shoulder level.
  • Avoid turning or twisting your body while holding a heavy object.

Last Updated: July 21, 2008

Author: Shannon Erstad, MBA/MPH

Medical Review: William M. Green, MD - Emergency Medicine & Robert B. Keller, MD - Orthopedics

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