I am sure may of our readers at one time or another, in the course of their careers have lifted a heavy load. From UPS workers and FEDEX workers may lift every day, but how about the assembly workers? How about the workers for the CTA or Metra Railroad? Let us not forget about the hard working city officials including the Fire Dept. and the City Policemen. And our federal working class such as the postal delivery. The point is, every day we find ourselves lifting, pushing and carrying objects of various weights. We are constantly carrying our work on our backs and wearing down our bodies.

Now the question is, do you take the right precautions while lifting? Most jobs have training where a proper lifting procedure is taught. Many workplaces implement protocols for lifting overweight items and some jobs require the use of a lumbar support belt while doing so. All jobs are required by law to meet OSHA ergonomic compliance and must undergo mandatory training. Communicating an ergonomically safe lifting procedure is the most effective way to prevent costly back injuries.

There are six important procedures in the lifting protocol.

First, size the load. For your safety and the safety of others around you, never lift a load heavier than your comfort level.
Second, secure your footing. Wearing the proper rubber soles, plant your feet in a comfortable position in front of the load. Keep your body straight, and put one foot forward of the other so as not to loose your balance.
Third, bend your knees and squat in front of the load. This will allow you to get as close as possible to the object.
Forth, you are ready to lift the load. Pushing up with your legs, tighten your abdominal muscles and breathe steadily as you lift the load close to your body.
Fifth, as you carry the load, make sure you are in the upright position, and if you need to change direction, simply move your feet.
Lastly, you need to lower the load by bending your knees, being sure to use only the leg and arm muscles.

If followed carefully, these steps, will assure an easy lift, and will protect your back from injury. If you feel you have been injured, some major symptoms include sharp shooting pain into the back and legs, numbness or tingling into one or both buttocks/legs, swollen ankles, weakness, inability to bend at the hip, inability to perform activities over shoulder level. Minor symptoms may be associated with deep aches into the back, difficulty sleeping and difficulty standing or sitting for long periods of time.

Many chiropractic and physical therapy doctors around US offer various work-out machinery and physical therapy equipment, that can’t be found at any local gym, to rehabilitate and strengthen lower back muscles. Did you know that most jobs have a workman’s compensation policy that allows treatment following a reportable incident? So if you believe you have been injured at work from improper lifting, or whatever the situation might be, contact your local doctor (or come to our Chicago physical therapy clinics if you are in the area).

Also, for more tips on wellness and healthy living please visit our website at www.AdvancedPhysicalMedicine.org and click through to our blog.

Author's Bio: 

Born and raised in New York City, Dr. Rosenthal came to the Midwest to study medicine at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. A serious car accident, however, changed his mind about practicing the traditional medicine he was studying, leading him to refocus his career path on becoming a specialist in chiropractic medicine. With more than ten years of experience in chiropractic medicine, Dr. Rosenthal guides his patients through gentle protocols to allow a smooth return to optimal health. Not only does Dr. Rosenthal practice health and medicine through his Chicago physical therapy clinic, but he actively works to give patients and knowledge seekers alike meaningful content, advice, and help on helath related issues through published research. In addition to published research presented at the American Academy of Pain Management on spinal decompression, he has published numerous articles on health and nutrition and is the chief editor of a bimonthly article in the Austin Voice Newspaper called "Dr. Backs". Most recently, Dr. Rosenthal has launched a wellness blog at advancedphysicalmedicine.wordpress.com with the vision of teaching the online audience easy-to-follow wellness techniques.