Many people injure their backs when they lift objects. When you reach your 30s, you are more likely to hurt your back when you bend to lift something up or put it down.
This may be because you have injured the muscles, ligaments, or disks in your spine in the past. Also, as we get older our muscles and ligaments become less flexible. And, the disks that act as cushions between the bones of our spine become more brittle as we age. All of these things make us more prone to having a back injury.
Know how much you can safely lift. Think about how much you have lifted in the past and how easy or hard that was. If an object seems too heavy or awkward, get help with it.
If your work requires you to do lifting that may not be safe for your back, talk to your boss. Try to determine the most weight you should have to lift. You may need to meet with a physical therapist or occupational therapist to learn how to safely lift this amount of weight.
To help prevent back pain and injury when you bend and lift:
Nonspecific back pain - lifting; Backache - lifting; Sciatica - lifting; Lumbar pain - lifting; Chronic back pain - lifting; Herniated disk - lifting; Slipped disk - lifting
Patel M, Shah K. Back: cervical thoracolumbar spine. In: Rakel RE, ed. Textbook of Family Medicine. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 31.
Updated by: C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Assistant Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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