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Correct Lifting Techniques

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.

  1.  Protect the weaker rearmost fibres of the discs
  2. 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!

Correct Sitting Posture

When sitting at a desk always arrange your posture to maintain the correct spinal curves; especially consider the low back (lumbar) and neck (cervical) spines.

The seat should slope downwards slightly at the front so that the knees are lower than the hips.

The height if the chair is set to keep the wrists in a neutral, resting position.

The back of the chair should support the forward curve of the lumbar spine and extend upwards to give some stability to the shoulder-blades.

The top of the computer screen should be nearly at eyeball height.

Remember to walk around for 10 minutes every hour!


Prevent Spinal Wear & Tear

All of us suffer from degenerative changes but these may be mitigated by maintaining correct posture, muscle strength and flexibility.  Bending, twisting , lifting and sitting can all damage connective tissues and joints.

In our early years we still cause damage but our initial health and quickness of healing enable rapid recovery from injury.

By our middle age the spraining of elastic tissues accumulates and predisposes us to further, more significant, injuries. The intervertebral structures become more unstable.

In later years the spine demonstrates more aches and stiffness as the elasticity diminishes and the ligaments dry-out. Again, posture, diet, mobility and exercise help the body with it’s innate healing abilities.