Master the Art of Lifting: How to Safely Avoid Back Pain When Handling Heavy Objects

Master the Art of Lifting: How to Safely Avoid Back Pain When Handling Heavy Objects

Back pain is a common issue that affects millions of people around the world. While it can be caused by various factors, one of the most common culprits is improper lifting of heavy objects. Whether you are moving furniture or lifting boxes, it is important to do it safely to avoid back pain and injury. In this blog post, we will discuss how to properly lift heavy objects to avoid back pain.

1.) Assess the object before lifting

Before you start lifting any object, it is important to assess its weight and size. If the object is too heavy or too large for you to lift alone, ask for help. If you don’t have anyone to help you, consider using lifting aids like a dolly or hand truck.

2.) Warm up before lifting

Just like any physical activity, it is important to warm up before lifting heavy objects. This can be as simple as doing some light stretches or taking a short walk. Warming up helps prepare your muscles for the activity and can reduce the risk of injury.

3.) Stand close to the object

When lifting heavy objects, it is important to stand as close to the object as possible. This helps reduce the amount of strain on your back muscles. Make sure your feet are shoulder-width apart and your toes are pointing forward.

4.) Use proper lifting technique

Using proper lifting technique is crucial when it comes to avoiding back pain. Here are the steps to follow:

  • Squat down and grab the object with both hands, keeping your back straight, shoulders back a little bit, and your head up.
  • Tighten your abdominal muscles a little bit and lift the object with your legs, not your back. Make sure to keep the object close to your body.
  • Slowly stand up, keeping your back straight and your head up.
  • Once you are standing, take small steps while holding the object, instead of twisting your body.

5.) Avoid lifting objects above your shoulders

Lifting heavy objects above your shoulders can put a lot of strain on your back muscles. Avoid doing this if possible, but if you must lift an object above your shoulders, use a stool or ladder to help you reach it.

6.) Take breaks

Lifting heavy objects can be tiring and can put a lot of strain on your muscles. Take breaks when you need to and don’t overdo it. If you start to feel tired or your back starts to hurt, take a break and rest for a few minutes.

7.) Use proper footwear

Wearing proper footwear can also help prevent back pain when lifting heavy objects. Shoes with good arch support and cushioning can help reduce the impact on your back muscles.

8.) Practice good posture

Maintaining good posture is important when it comes to avoiding back pain. Make sure to keep your shoulders back, your chest out, and your head up when lifting heavy objects. This helps distribute the weight evenly through your spine and reduces the strain on your back muscles.

Back pain is one of the most common complaints among adults today courtesy of Body Science Therapy & Performance Centre (Read the caption)

The benefits of working with a physiotherapist for back pain relief

Back pain can be a debilitating condition that can severely impact a person’s quality of life. It can affect people of all ages and can be caused by a variety of factors, including poor posture, muscle strain, herniated discs, and more. If you are experiencing back pain, it is important to seek the help of a healthcare professional. One healthcare professional who can be particularly helpful in managing back pain is a physiotherapist.

A physiotherapist is a healthcare professional who specializes in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of musculoskeletal disorders. They work with patients to help them improve their physical function and mobility, reduce pain, and prevent future injuries. Here are some ways in which a physiotherapist can help with back pain:

1.) Assess the root of the problem

One of the key roles of a physiotherapist in managing back pain is to assess the root of the problem. They will examine the patient’s posture, range of motion, strength, and flexibility, and may also request imaging tests to get a better understanding of what is causing the pain. Once they have identified the root cause of the pain, they can develop an individualized treatment plan to address it.

2.) Develop an individualized treatment plan

Based on their assessment of the patient’s condition, a physiotherapist can develop an individualized treatment plan that is tailored to their specific needs. This may include exercises to strengthen the muscles that support the back, stretches to improve flexibility, and techniques to improve posture. They may also recommend manual therapy, such as massage or joint mobilization, to help reduce pain and improve mobility.

3.) Provide education and guidance

In addition to developing a treatment plan, a physiotherapist can provide education and guidance to the patient on how to manage their back pain. This may include advice on proper posture, lifting techniques, and ergonomics. They may also provide guidance on how to modify activities to reduce pain and prevent future injury.

4.) Monitor progress and adjust the treatment plan

As the patient progresses through their treatment plan, a physiotherapist will monitor their progress and adjust the treatment plan as needed. They may recommend additional exercises or modifications to the treatment plan based on the patient’s progress and response to treatment.

5.) Provide long-term support

Finally, a physiotherapist can provide long-term support to help prevent future episodes of back pain. They may recommend ongoing exercises or modifications to the patient’s daily routine to help prevent re-injury. They may also provide ongoing education and support to help the patient manage their back pain and improve their overall physical function.

In conclusion, if you are experiencing back pain, it is important to seek the help of a healthcare professional. A physiotherapist can play a critical role in managing back pain by assessing the root of the problem, developing an individualized treatment plan, providing education and guidance, monitoring progress, and providing long-term support. By working with a physiotherapist, patients can reduce pain, improve mobility, and prevent future injury, improving their quality of life.

Back pain courtesy of Body Science Therapy & Performance Centre (Read the caption)


This appointment is your opportunity to tell us what hurts and discover whether physiotherapy or chiropractic care is a good fit for you! During this session, you will talk with a physiotherapist or chiropractor on a phone call (or online) and create the right care plan specifically for your pain. There is no obligation on this session is to find out whether physiotherapy or chiropractic care can help you getting back to doing the things you love in life.

Frequently Asked Questions

Several factors can make back pain worse, including poor posture, lack of exercise, lifting heavy objects improperly, sudden movements or twisting, being overweight or obese, and underlying medical conditions like arthritis or herniated discs.

Healing back pain fast is dependent on the underlying cause of the pain. However, some steps that may help relieve the pain and speed up healing include resting and avoiding activities that aggravate the pain, using hot or cold packs to reduce tension or inflammation, taking over-the-counter pain medications, performing gentle stretching exercises to improve mobility, and seeing a healthcare professional like a physiotherapist or chiropractor for treatment and advice.

It depends on the severity and cause of the back pain. In some cases, lying in bed may be recommended to alleviate the pain and allow the muscles to rest and heal. However, prolonged bed rest can lead to muscle weakness and stiffness, which can make back pain worse. It is important to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the best course of action for your specific condition. In general, it is recommended to stay active and perform gentle exercises and stretches to help alleviate back pain.

About Mathew Hughes

Body Science Therapy Mathew Hughes Registered Physiotherapist

Since earning his Masters of Science in Physiotherapy in 2013, Mathew has been specializing in acute injuries, complex injury histories, recurring injuries, performance enhancement, and concussion management.

He is one of few physiotherapists in Canada integrating advanced practices including P-DTR, Level 3 Neurokinetic Therapy, Anatomy in Motion, Cranial Therapy, and Neurofunctional Acupuncture.

He works hard to find and treat the cause of your pain or problem – in order to achieve results that last, while many other therapists repeatedly treat the symptoms which results in temporary improvement and returning symptoms.

What he values the most with his work is discovering the potential of the human body and mind, and helping his clients realize that potential. During his off-time, he enjoys nothing more than living a healthy lifestyle, learning, and connecting with family and friends. 

Medical Disclaimer:

The information presented in this blog post is for educational purposes and should not be interpreted as medical advice. If you are seeking medical advice, treatment or a diagnosis, consult with a medical professional such as one suggested on this website. The Clinic Accelerator Inc. and the author of this page are not liable for the associated risks of using or acting upon the information contained in this article.

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