Firstly, avoid heavy lifting, especially during early phases of care. If lifting is a part of your job, restrictions on weight or frequency may be indicated. A support belt may also be indicated, and if prescribed, should be worn to avoid continued injury to the joints and nerves. With all lifting, be sure to relax, breathe, and lift with your legs while keeping the trunk of the body in a neutral posture. Retain the forward curve of the low back, and you will avoid the bending shear forces that can severely damage the spinal structures.
One of the most important parts of lifting is to take a moment to think about good form. As with activities in a gym, good form creates an exercise, while bad form creates an injury.
Frame the lift by thinking out a two step process.
The first step before initiating the lift is asking the question of “how do I feel”? If the answer is that you’re a little stiff in one area, or there is a dull pain or discomfort, take a moment to stretch and warm up before the lift. It will save mistakes that could take years to overcome.
The second step is to ask yourself “how do I make this activity into an exercise”? Generally the item you’re lifting really doesn’t care how it gets from point A to point B. The only one to whom it makes a difference is you, and done properly, the activities of the workday world can be made into something beneficial, instead of an injury waiting to happen.