Life doesn’t stop when you have back pain, knowing how to properly look after yourself as your back recovers can allow you to get the most out of life during this painful time.
Should I avoid lifting and bending whilst my back is sore?
The spine is extremely robust and durable and benefits from regular movement even when it is in pain. Lifting is typically safe and should only be avoided if directly instructed by the physio. You might not be able to lift or move as much as you would like whilst recovering, but using the spine within the limits of what it can tolerate is strongly encouraged.
Is lifting with your legs rather than your back safer?
Recent research has shown that there is no difference in lifting with a bent back or with a straight back for the chance of injury or recovery from back pain. This was shown to be true for objects 12kg or under which is within the weight of most things you would pick up in a day. Whilst we have no evidence for heavier items one way or the other, it is likely beneficial for the legs to help so lifting with the legs is advised.
What part of the lifting technique matters the most?
The most important part of a good lifting technique is setting up your environment to make the lift as easy and safe as possible. You should avoid awkward lifts where the weight is far from the body or if you are having to twist and contort your body to be able to move something. This can prolong or potentially trigger lower back pain.
Lifting heavy loads with back pain
The spine as it recovers will slowly tolerate lifting heavier and heavier loads until you have recovered to your normal level and strength. Your physio will help you determine what is a safe weight you can lift, if you are ever unsure if something is too heavy then you should always ask for help with the lift or simply lighten the load whilst recovering.
If you are experiencing back pain, don’t put up with it, call us to make an appointment with one of our experienced back physios in Claremont call (08) 9384 1555 or click here to book online.