How to Avoid Back Pain When Moving and Packing
Moving to a new home can be very stressful, both mentally and physically. Many people who are moving to a new home or moving across state lines often complain of back and neck pain due to the repetition of packing and lifting. However, there are very simple techniques one can use to avoid pain and to protect your body.
We have all been told to “lift using your legs” but what does that even mean? Proper lifting technique to pick up something from the ground involves getting into a squatted position without losing the curvature in the lower back. When lifting, try to maintain a proper curve and engage your core when picking up the item.
Another potentially dangerous mistake people do is look down at the item when lifting. Unfortunately, this puts the neck into flexion, which increases tension and load in the spinal discs, which can lead to pain and potentially causing a muscle strain.
Another mistake that people make when moving is putting the heavy boxes back on the ground; this can be detrimental when going to pick it back up. Best thing we can do is put the heaviest items on shelves that are close to hip height and the lightest items on the ground and tallest shelves.
Whether this is your first time moving or your tenth, the worst mistake we can make is to try to lift heavy items alone. Using another person to lift heavy items can spare both people’s backs and avoid injury. Utilizing a moving dolly can also decrease repetitive lifting and decrease the number of loads one must make while moving. If you end up using a dolly, most people will have multiple boxes that they will have to unload. Always try to avoid lifting and rotating your torso when moving those boxes. Bending and rotating the lower back causes extreme load and strain into the lumbar discs and can cause a disc herniation.
Although it may be hard to remember all these tips amidst moving, moving slowly and staying conscious about your posture can really help decrease your chances of getting neck or back pain. Regular stretching and taking breaks during the move will also help protect your body.
So, when lifting, try to remember these tips:
- Squat and engage core
- Push through your heels and not with your lower back
- Keep lower back curved in
- Keep chin up and avoid looking down
- Keep heavy items on tables or shelves at hip height and lighter items above and below
- Ask a friend or family member for help with the heavier items
- Avoid rotating or twisting your torso when lifting items
- Take regular breaks and stretch
If you have tried using these tips and you still have back or neck pain, you may want to get into your local CBP chiropractor. The doctors at Modern Chiropractic are trained in determining whether muscle have been strained, ligamentous sprained, discs herniated or if spinal subluxations have occurred. Give us a call for a free consultation at one of our locations today!
For more help with strained muscles or any of the listed injuries call our experienced team at Modern Chiropractic Center in Boise or Nampa or fill out our online form.