Most occupations involve some form of lifting, whether it’s
moving files, carrying boxes, or stacking items on a shelf.
can occur unpredictably, such as when lunging to catch a falling
object or slipping while carrying a heavy weight, especially
in high-risk occupations that require consistent heavy lifting
(i.e., working in a warehouse or on a construction site).
These unpredictable lifting situations can contribute to accidents
and resulting injury.
How does workplace lifting impact the spine? In a recent
study, 12 volunteers each stood on a force plate while weights
(0, 2, 4, and 6 kilograms for men, 40% less for women) were
delivered into their hands in one of three ways: dropped into
a box with handles, held by the subject; dropped into a box
with handles, held while blindfolded and wearing headphones;
and pushed off a smooth table. All tests were performed with
volunteers in upright, partially flexed, and moderately flexed
Results showed that compressive forces acting on the spine
increased dramatically under all conditions, particularly
when loads were suddenly and unexpected dropped into a box
held by the subject. The authors conclude that “sudden and
alarming events associated with manual handling cause a reflex
overreaction of the back muscles…” and suggest that greater
emphasis on injury prevention should be considered.
Here’s something else to consider: making an appointment
with a doctor of chiropractic. Get the facts on how to minimize
injury, on the job and at home, and learn more on how to keep
your back (and the rest of your body) healthy.
Mannion AF, Adams MA, Dolan P. Sudden and unexpected loading
generates high forces on the lumbar spine. Spine, April
1, 2000: Vol. 25, No. 7, pp842-52.
For more information on back pain, go to http://www.chiroweb.com/tyh/backpain.html