Back Pain: The Currently Recommended Lifting Techniques Not Good for Everyone

People with back pain usually when they want to lift objects from the floor bend their knees and spread their legs to keep their back straight. This recommended lifting technique is now being challenged in a new study.

Back Pain

Back Pain

Lower back pain is a type of pain that takes place in the lumbar area of the spine that is often severe. The patient may feel blocked and/or have difficulty with certain movements. For all sufferers, there are many tips to prevent it: regular exercise, good posture, regular changing of positions, stretching or bending the knees, and spreading the legs to keep the back straight when lifting objects. However, according to a new study published in July in the journal Plos ONE, this last recommendation is not suitable for everyone.

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A slower lift with a squat down

To reach this conclusion, the scientists followed patients both with and without back pain and asked them to bend their knees 100 times to lift objects of two different weights. Although both groups the low back pain group and the pain-free group lifted the boxes with fairly similar technique at the end of the 100 times, the low back pain group always tended to lift slower and do squat down,” explains Nic Saraceni, co-author of the study.

The chosen method of bending is not the only culprit

The researchers point out that people with low back pain who follow this bending technique should theoretically be free of back pain. In reality, however, this is not the case. Since this classic method is not suitable for all patients, advice on how to bend should be more individualized, they say. For example, to bend with a straight back, one can choose other means, such as putting one knee down with the other leg at a right angle. The only thing to avoid is bending over to pick up an object. On the other hand, scientists point out that the way of bending is not the only factor: the general health of patients, the sports they play, or the repetitive tasks they perform during the working day should also be taken into account.

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Developing habits to relieve back pain

There are many techniques for preventing back pain. These include habits to incorporate into daily life: sharing the load when shopping, carrying a bag in each hand, sitting to wear pants or shoes, adjusting the workplace for good posture, etc. Regular exercise, such as swimming, Nordic walking, or muscle strengthening. Finally, relaxation and stretching exercises will also help reduce and prevent pain.

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Exploring lumbar and lower limb kinematics and kinetics for evidence that lifting technique is associated with LBP

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