Lifting with your brain: what does it mean?
At its core, it means being more mindful about your spine when performing daily activities. Unless you were raised under a rock, you probably heard the phrase: “lift with your legs, not your back.” Yet how many of us continually ignore this wisdom, and lift with a motion that may save us a few seconds, but risks our spinal health unnecessarily. Anyone with a spinal condition or back pain will tell you that lifting is one of the most painful motions they can undertake- it is in your best interest to avoid this pain at all costs. So step one is being more mindful about how you lift, and not ignoring that ubiquitous wisdom after all.
Changing the way you lift
Step two is using a better technique. If you have a spinal injury, back pain, or a perfectly healthy spine, it behooves you to use a better lifting technique. First off, your back muscles were not intended to bear heavy loads- that is something your legs are much more capable of. Therefore, we need to leverage the power of your leg muscles to lift- as exemplified by someone who squats down to an object, grabs it and then propels themselves upward with downward force through the legs. Here are two other techniques:
- The golfer’s grab: bend forward at the waist, but take one leg off the ground, creating a counter balance and maintaining the straightness of the spine. Support yourself with one arm while you retrieve a lighter object with the other hand.
- The kneeling lift. Kneel in front of the object, then maneuver it up onto the bent knee. From here you can propel yourself forward or to a standing position using leg power.
Lifting with your brain is a smart spinal health solution
At our office in Westwood, we are full of smart solutions for managing, maintaining and improving spinal health. If you want to find out more about injury prevention and spinal health wellness, give our office in Westwood a call to schedule an appointment today.