So I’ll give a quick background. The last few years I have had some lower back pain. It started almost randomly, and when it would spasm, I couldn’t sit, stand, or even lay down comfortably. So like most people with injuries, I went to the doctor. He prescribed me 10mg of some muscle relaxers, and said to take them nightly. After taking almost all of the pills, my back would still spasm at times. I had no idea why, it was almost randomly. I solved this by doing morning stretches. Every morning, I get out of bed, and go lay out on a yoga mat. I put my arms out, knees up, tip them to the right, and turn my head left. A couple deep breathes, and I do the same the other way. This helped my back out within 2 weeks, morning and night.
Now, about 2 year of daily stretching later, I was moving to another house the other morning, I was helping to lift a dresser. One wrong move, and I threw my back out. I’m in my early 20’s, and I’m hunched over like a 73 year old man. I could almost hear that same 73 year old yelling: “Lift with your back kid“.
Lifting with your legs when lifting anything is super important. The way your back works, if you’re lifting using your back muscles, you’re not using your very strong leg muscles. If I told you to tow a car with another car, would you use a piece of grandma’s string? or an actual tow rope?
Here’s a good video representation of why you should lift with your legs.
Some tips to help you not hurt yourself:
- Squat down, bending at the hips and knees only. If needed, put one knee to the floor and your other knee in front of you, bent at a right angle (half kneeling).
- Keep good posture, try not to lean forward. Keep your shoulders back, and your chest out.
- Carry, the object should be as close to your chest as possible. This will ensure that you stay straight up, and make it easier to straighten your legs.
- Take small steps, using your feet to change direction, instead of twisting. Twisting will surely cause you to cramp up.
- Set down, Bend your knees and hips only. Just because you are not lifting, does not mean you cant still hurt yourself.
So, thought I’d share my experience. If you have a similar story, post it in the comments. If you want to learn more about the stretches you can also comment below.