• What is proper lifting?
  • Implications of poor lifting methods?
  • How do you lift to save your back?
  • Conclusion
  • References

What Is Proper Lifting?

Lifting is a necessary chore that may increase your risk of developing low back pain (LBP). 1. It is thought that cumulative back loading caused by repeatedly performing incorrect lifts might induce low back pain.  

Proper lifting is your ability to apply some techniques while lifting an object from the ground to protect your back. These strategies involved the correct position and posture of the object and you.

The experts believe that the correct lifting posture has a strong connection to the prevention of low back pain (LBP). 4. The popular lifting techniques are squat and semi-squat. 1.

Implication Of Poor Lifting Methods

A common risk factor for the onset and worsening of LBP is lifting. Too much bending of your back combined with angular position and load force may cause lifting-related LBP. Your backbones feel higher loads when you bend too much to pick something. And that may create long-term structural damage or back pain. 2

The pain can cause limitations in your daily activities. It means it will affect your quality of life negatively. 5

How Do You Save Your Back When Lifting?

Here are the principles for safely lifting objects of various weights;

  • Examine the size and weight of the load.
  • Bend your knees to lower your body to the level of the burden.
  • To provide a wide, stable basis, keep your feet separated. 
  • Maintain a straight back, but not necessarily an erect one.
  • Secure your hold firmly.
  • Maintain the weight or load near the middle of your feet.
  • Never lift while rotating your back.
  • Allow your leg to feel the load, not your back.
  • Wait until you can receive help if the burden is too heavy for one person to carry.
  • For heavier or problematic loads, use mechanical means (such as hand trucks, pushcarts, etc.) 
  • Reduce reaching. Avoid twisting while lifting, carrying, or setting down a load, and keep objects as near the body as possible. Your toes, hips, shoulders, and the front of the head should be pointed in the same direction.
  • If the burden is below you, bend over or squat; if it is too high, use a ladder.
  • Use appropriate handholds when lifting. Consider solutions, such as putting the item in a container with good handholds, making a secure and suitable handhold with the right tool, etc., if an object lacks a decent handhold.
  • Before pushing, pulling, or lifting, be sure the road is clear.
  • Implement rest breaks if the workload is too heavy. Lift the object to a slightly higher level, then raise it to the appropriate height. 3


Careless lifting of loads from the ground can cause you to twist your back. It could lead to a long-term complaint of low back pain. Proper lifting does not only prevent lower back pain but also prevents the worsening of the symptoms of those with lower back pain.


Washmuth, N. B., McAfee, A. D., & Bickel, C. S. (2022). Lifting Techniques: Why Are We Not Using Evidence To Optimize Movement?. International journal of sports physical therapy, 17(1), 104–110. https://doi.org/10.26603/001c.30023

Saraceni, N., Kent, P., Ng, L., Campbell, A., Straker, L., & O’Sullivan, P. (2020). To Flex or Not to Flex? Is There a Relationship Between Lumbar Spine Flexion During Lifting and Low Back Pain? A Systematic Review With Meta-analysis. The Journal of orthopaedic and sports physical therapy, 50(3), 121–130. https://doi.org/10.2519/jospt.2020.9218


von Arx, M., Liechti, M., Connolly, L., Bangerter, C., Meier, M. L., & Schmid, S. (2021). From Stoop to Squat: A Comprehensive Analysis of Lumbar Loading Among Different Lifting Styles. Frontiers in bioengineering and biotechnology, 9, 769117. https://doi.org/10.3389/fbioe.2021.769117

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