Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Chronic Back Strain or Sprain Lifting

Tips for proper lifting in someone with a chronic back strain or sprain:

  • Look at the label and find out how much the object weighs.
  • Plan the lift in advance.
  • A back support may help you maintain the correct position, but it does not decrease the risk of back injury.
  • Avoid twisting as you lift: always start from a position that allows your back to move up and down, only.
  • Stand close to the object you wish to lift. Place one foot alongside the object and the other behind it. Keep your body weight over your feet.
  • Lift with your legs and keep your back straight. Bend your knees and keep your elbows close to your body.
  • Lift the load smoothly and keep the object close to your body: do not jerk or tug the object.
  • Maintain solid footing and keep your feet a shoulder's width apart as you walk when you carry an object.
  • Keep your back straight. Change direction by moving your feet.
  • Observe the same technique when putting items down.

Continue to Chronic Back Strain or Sprain Posture

Last Updated: Nov 5, 2008 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Chronic Back Strain or Sprain References
  1. Athanasou JA. Return to work following whiplash and back injury: a review and evaluation. Med Leg J. 2005;73(Pt 1):29-33. [15881444]
  2. Coste J, Delecoeuillerie G, et al: Clinical course and prognostic factors in acute low back pain: an inception cohort study in primary care practice. BMJ 1994 Feb 26; 308(6928): 577-80. [8148683]
  3. Hayden J, Tulder M, Malmivaara A, Koes B. Exercise therapy for treatment of non-specific low back pain. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2005 Jul 20;(3):CD000335. [16034851]
  4. King HA. Back pain in children. Orthop Clin North Am. 1999 Jul;30(3):467-74, ix. [10393768]
  5. Marriott A, Newman NM, et al: Improving the evaluation of benign low back pain. Spine 1999 May 15; 24(10): 952-60. [10332784]
  6. Smith D, McMurray N, Disler P. Early intervention for acute back injury: can we finally develop an evidence-based approach? Clin Rehabil. 2002 Feb;16(1):1-11. [11837522]
  7. van Tulder MW, Koes BW, Bouter LM: Conservative treatment of acute and chronic nonspecific low back pain. A systematic review of randomized controlled trials of the most common interventions. Spine 1997 Sep 15; 22(18): 2128-56. [9322325]
  8. Wassell JT, Gardner LI, Landsittel DP, Johnston JJ, Johnston JM. A prospective study of back belts for prevention of back pain and injury. JAMA. 2000 Dec 6;284(21):2727-32. [11105177]
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