Almost everyone, at some point or another will have low back pain, and one of the more common causes is improper bending and lifting techniques. It’s not always so much the amount of weight that you are lifting, but HOW you lift it that makes a difference.
Two simple tips:
1. It’s okay to bend, and it’s okay to twist… but try not to do BOTH at the same time, especially when holding a significant amount of weight. Bio mechanical studies have shown that the amount of pressure and strain exerted on the sensitive tissues is magnified when these two movements are done together. Much more than if you just added up the forces of each movement separately.
2. Before you lift something, first tighten up the core muscles around your lower back. Weight lifters and power lifters know this, but it’s not common knowledge for the public. Using those muscles to first stabilize the spine will help significantly to prevent injury. Here is an example of how that works:
An empty pop can is very easy to crush. It takes hardly any pressure, especially if the force is coming in from an angle. By contrast, if the can is full and pressurized it is much more resistant to crushing. This is similar to the effect you get when you contract the muscles that stabilize your spine. The metal is the same in the full can as it is in the empty can, but because of the internal pressure, it takes far more force to cause any damage.
So, remember the two tips, and lift carefully!