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How to Destroy Your Spine, Part 1: Bending, Twisting and Lifting

How to Destroy Your SpineStepping on cracks won’t really break anyone’s back, but lifting wrong will. A lot of back problems can be prevented. In this series, we’ll take a look at some of the ways you may be hurting your back everyday, starting with incorrect lifting.

You’ve heard it before or you’ve seen the safety posters, but it really is true. If you lift something incorrectly, you can destroy your spine. Here’s how:

1. Bending and Twisting While Lifting

When you lift something, the weight you pick up is distributed to your body. When you lift something incorrectly, the weight is sent to areas that can’t take the extra pressure. Bending down at the waist to pick something up directs the weight of the object straight to your spine. This alone can lead to back strain and disc problems, but twisting your back while lifting can cause disc herniation and can accelerate degeneration of your spine. Degeneration occurs naturally as we get older, but lifting incorrectly could give you the back of a person decades older than you.

The best way to avoid destroying your spine is to pay attention to those safety posters. Before you lift something, determine if it’s too heavy for you to lift alone, and if it is, always find someone else to help you lift the object. Whenever possible, use dollys, carts, or other devices that are made to carry heavy objects. When lifting, bend at the knees in a squat as close to the object as you can. Keep your neck and back straight and lift by using your legs. You’ll find that lifting is not only easier this way but safer, too.

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