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Safety reminder - use proper lifting technique

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  • Safety reminder - use proper lifting technique

    Which is what I didn't do last weekend while moving some wheel/tire assemblies. Been paying for it this entire week with significant pain the lower back. Getting out of bed is 25 minute ordeal.

    I really feel like an idiot because I know better. In fact I was a plant manager for a number of years and my plant always had the best safety record. Lots of eduction and reminders on proper lifting technique went a long ways towards this record.

    I was in a hurry, the load was not "that heavy" yada, yada. All excuses, non acceptable. It was a classic case of doing everything wrong. I bent at the waist, held the load away from body, lifted with my back, and then twisted to the side.

    I didn't go to the doc thinking it would get better over time. My wife got tired of this attitude on Wednesday and threatened to make the appointment if I didn't. Went in, doc gave all kinds of pills to relax the muscles, help me sleep at night etc.

    Now the back pain is better, but I'm so doped up I can't run any equipment, drive etc. I'm sleeping at night now, mostly because the medications just knock me out. I hate being on this stuff, but it has provided relief from the constant searing lower back pain.

    The entire week has been a wash productivity wise. I have not been able to get anything done because of this... all because I lifted a load incorrectly.

    Remember to lift properly.
    Bend at the knees (deeply, like you are squatting down)
    Try to keep your arms straight when you cradle the load.
    Keep the load close to your torso.
    Most importantly, keep your back straight and lift with your legs.
    If you need to change directions will holding the load do not twist at the waist. Instead use your feet to change direction.

    As a side note I now have a renewed respect for people who are disabled, or have to move around slowly. I've been shuffling around all week at a snails pace. I didn't realize how fast people move in society. I feel like I'm always in the way and holding people up.


  • #2
    I have 3 bad discs, worn out from carrying a large body and living rough. They say I worked with a fractured disc.

    I know one movement in Tau-Chi. Taught to me by a korean girl dating me just to piss her family off.

    Horse stance, feet parallel, pointing forward, knees bent, arms across chest midsectional level, palms facing each other fingers pointing up at sky. As you squat slightly, develop your power like you are going to "break boards" you can feel the tingle on your palms. Once you have started the energy flowing straighten your knees while simultaniously thrusting your palms, arms skyward. The forceful inertia along with the relaxation of the "gathering energy" will snap your spine into position as well as any chiropractor can like a bullwhip. Relieving my pain.

    Your results may vary. You may injure yourself more, or reduce pain to nothing.

    I would give anything to learn more Tau Chi. Most the instructors are space cadets that should be trekkies. Internal strength is no joke. Gathering power is no joke. I have felt the "surge of energy you recieve from a audience"
    I have broken things with my hands, feet and head too hard to break. (understandable about my head, ain't nuttin up there)

    there is a lot of mechanics in a spine, it is a stack of bones with hundreds of muscles that tilt it, soft tissue between each disc, this disc tissue softens between the ages of 30 and 40, then rehardens more than before. Old age is setting in. First you get soft, then you get stiff.



    • #3
      <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Wayne02:
      Remember to lift properly.
      Bend at the knees (deeply, like you are squatting down)
      Try to keep your arms straight when you cradle the load.
      Keep the load close to your torso.
      Most importantly, keep your back straight and lift with your legs.
      If you need to change directions will holding the load do not twist at the waist. Instead use your feet to change direction.

      The one time I really tore up my back, was when I followed the above instructions.... It was the "keep your back straight" part that did it.

      There is something wrong with that method.....

      And it seems that those harnesses that are supposed to make you do that actually have caused a lot of back problems. I could have told them that....

      The "deeply like you are squatting down" part is really hard on your knees....

      Best advice I have ever had was to lift only as much as you feel comfortable lifting, and do it any way that feels natural with the least stress.


      Keep eye on ball.
      Hashim Khan


      • #4
        At 59 I"ve found it easier to get help. It takes less time then the time I spend down with injuries as they don't heal as fast when you get older.

        I also bought a harbor freight engine lift that I bought to move my milling machine. I had no idea all the other uses I'd find for it once I had one at home.

        My biggest safety tip:

        Make sure all the joints of your engine lift are well oiled and that you keep it where you can get at it !
        - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
        Thank you to our families of soldiers, many of whom have given so much more then the rest of us for the Freedom we enjoy.

        It is true, there is nothing free about freedom, don't be so quick to give it away.


        • #5
          Your Old Dog -I have learned a similar lesson. Now I ask for help. I've always had good upper body strength, but it seems that every time I use lots of it, the old frame can't take it. And boy, do I ever heal slower than I used to.

          David -I thought it was first you got stiff, then you got soft..... hahahaha

          Wayne02 -good on you about disabled people. Many of my students are injured workers and often it's a bad back. I do my best to accomodate them regarding missed classes and alternate testing, etc. I often hear that they are in too much pain to concentrate, or too doped up to concentrate, but usually they are very successful. I'm gonna brag now... I received a Provincial award (only one awarded in the province's 24 Colleges) this year for furthering the education of disabled persons. Of all the degrees and awards I have, this one is the dearest to me.

          Focus on what people can do, not what they can't do.



          • #6
            "Proper lifting technique" is defined as a forklift,chainfall,cherry picker,lift table,crane,jib boom,etc,etc,etc.

            Just remembering your not a forklift is enough.

            [This message has been edited by wierdscience (edited 06-10-2005).]
            I just need one more tool,just one!


            • #7
              Hope you get well soon Wayne.
              take it easy.
              I had a few problems a few years ago I was bent over at 45 degrees for eighteen months ..I could not straiten up or walk.
              in the end the surgeons completely removed the offending discs.
              you see me doing all this stuff I post about ......acording to the doctors ,all I should be doing is sitting or lieing in the house watching tv all day...who can do that .not me .
              and get off those anti-inflametry drugs as soon as you can..because they completly screw you up long term......more than your back will.
              stick to codene or distalgesic..or co-proxamal......if they sell a product called codis-500 in your country....take it.
              they are not saying anything now .but I have already lived thru it ..avoid ibuproffen at all costs .
              all the best..mark


              • #8
                when i was younger i worked on the farm cut wood lifted weights. there was noting i could not pick up and move. now i am 55 and when it comes to moving things i still can pick most up. but now i look for the motor lift,comalong or pry bar. i am even building a lift boom for my 3 point hitch tractor.
                guess i got smarter.


                • #9
                  I bribe young people with beer and steaks to do my moving that I can't do with my hoist or my rollers.



                  • #10
                    The best cure is prevention. A few simple stretches performed every morning can greatly reduce the incidence of back injury. When I've hurt my back in the past, I've also found that stretching reduces healing time significantly.


                    • #11
                      Oh, that medicine is some nasty stuff. I had the misfortune of having to take it after being rear-ended by an auto. I quit taking it after the second day. I didn't like the way it made me feel--Worse than a bad drunk. I just toughed it out for a couple of weeks.


                      • #12
                        Don't forget that strength is just as important as technique. I have found that I can lift a lot more without hurting now after starting a weight lifting program about a year ago. For lifting, upper body is very good, but remember to get your lower back and ESPECIALLY your abs. That's one thing people don't realize a lot of the time. The #1 thing you can do to save your back is strengthen your abdominals.



                        • #13
                          I know what you're going trough,Wayne,and feel for you.I was taught a relaxation method by an old doctor.Lie flat on the floor,and have your legs on a straight chair,so your knees are at 90 degrees.An emergency treatment is to lie face down on a hard floor,spread your arms out to the side,and relax.After 15 minutes,put your arms out in front,and slowly "creep"your hands back so your back is arched.Try to hold for 10 seconds,then relax for 5min.,then "creep",relax,etc.It will hurt like hell the first few times,but soon gets easier.Follow this for several days untill you can get up off the floor without help.That's what works for me,but of course ,there are many different versions of back pain.That's the price we pay for our stupidity when we were young 'uns



                          • #14
                            Hell, all I did was cough and bingo, one very blown disc that required surgery. that was the end of March and am still recovering!

                            John B
                            John B


                            • #15
                              I need to see if the doc is in today (sat). It's 50 degrees out, I've got the window wide open, and I'm sweating up a storm. I've had a low grade fever for the last two days. Semi blurred vision, can't concentrate at all, and my blood sugar readings are up (type II diabetic). The elevated blood sugar may be from the stress of the injury I suppose.

                              The odd thing is I've only been taking two of the three meds he gave me. The third one is some sort of narcotic to be taken only at bedtime for pain if needed. I've not had to use that one thankfully.

                              The main med is naproxen which is nothing more than Aleave, albeit at very high doses. I've never had problems with Aleave in the past, of course I've never taken 1000-1500mg per day either.

                              The second one is a muscle relaxer that I take 10mg at bedtime. I'm not sure if I'm supposed to feel this way on these meds, or if it is the muscle relaxer (10mg is a pretty low dose), or the high dose of Aleave that is making it this way.