When bending, twisting, pulling and lifting it is very easy to cause chronic strain and acute injury, especially with the lumbar spine. This consists of the lowest (usually) five vertebrae, just above the pelvis.
The forward natural curve of the lumbar spine is called lordosis. Your Chiropractor will explain the importance of this curve. In terms of function it is quite complex but with respect to lifting it is basic and extremely important.
Use the (hopefully) strong muscles of the back to hold this curve very securely. The position of the vertebrae will achieve two significant advantages when loading the back.
- Protect the weaker rearmost fibres of the discs
- Prevent the facet (zygapohyseal) joints from being pulled out of their correct position.
As the fibres of the disc become separated the fat, in the middle of the disc, gets forced into the tears and eventually the disc distorts and can then press on the nerve roots, causing sciatic pains.
This is just another name for “jamming”, whereby the smooth surfaces of the facet joints have moved beyond their correct position and trapped a small piece of membrane. Until this is rectified the motion of the segment will not heal correctly.
Maintain the LORDOSIS at all times when straining the spine.
The power for lifting should ONLY come from the thigh muscles and buttock muscles and the load should be transmitted to the HIP (ball and socket) joints of the pelvis. There should be no effort in moving the lumbar spine. Unfortunately ones natural morphology (shape) often constrains ones ability. Tall, slender individuals are not generally suited to digging canals for decades!