How to lift and protect your lower back….
Avoid straining your low back!
An extremely common scenario is lifting or bending to pick something up, putting socks on, getting something from a cupboard then BOOOM a big excruciating back spasm.
Bending is the process of flexing through the lumbar spine, taking it away from its strong, healthier position, which in the low back we call a lordosis and is a tall soft inner arch.
Problems arise when your lumbar spine becomes unhealthy and dysfunctional, allowing the the perpendicular forces move against the longitudinal gravity and weight bearing structures creating a shearing movement error and subsequent inflammatory reaction.
How to bend correctly & support your low back
Its all about keeping support and height in the soft inner lumbar curve (lordosis). We’ve previously learnt how to breath and how to brace, good lifting technique requires these two elements.
Bending should come through the legs hips and pelvis, creating a deep hinge at the hips which will protect the lower spine. A deep breath and abdominal bracing should be held through the movement
note- if its too heavy get assistance, avoid first thing in AM, make sure you’re feeling good and warmed up.
- Get a long hard stick like a broom, stick or mop,
- Initially stand tall and straight,
- Then hold the pole behind you centrally over your spine with a hand behind the head and the other hand down to wards your bottom,
- Take a deep breath and brace the core,
- Then Pivot through the hips whilst keeping the stick flat to your spine
You should be trying to use your pelvic and legs, sitting deep, to primarily drive this movement and not your low back.
Repeat the hinge movement smoothly and safely as far as you’re able to pivot through pain free. Keep the back straight and put the movement through the buttocks and hamstrings. If you’ve very tight hamstrings don’t lock the knees, have a soft slight bend to them.
You can do three sets of 8-12 repetitions dependent on personal comfort levels.