JOPLIN, MO-- "There can be some simple strains and sprains like you would a knee or shoulder and those are easily taken care of. But there are some other long term problems that do require further intervention." And Freeman Physical Therapist Jim Schoeberl says you're best bet for a healthy back is to avoid injury in the first place. That starts with lifting with your legs instead of your back. "Using the larger muscles of your legs and your gluts and quads vs the thinner muscles of your back. They're meant to maintain posture not the physical lift of that heavy load. So if a construction worker is lifting a 2 x 12 beam or rafter, he's definitely going to have to use his legs and not use the thinner muscles of his back."
Also, carry a heavy load close to your body. Even lifting a child into a crib or carseat can cause issues. Schoeberl added, "At arms length that load or child will weigh as much as 10 times more because of leverage."
And Schoeberl said you should avoid twisting while carrying a heavy load. "We always encourage patients to move their feet because you decrease the pressure on the disc when you do that."