Ever wonder how your back works when lifting something? It acts as a lever. A hundred pounds of force can lift a ten-pound item. In other words, the more you bend while lifting an object, the more pressure is exerted on the lower back. Additionally, bending while lifting an object places more pressure on the back than straight-arm lifting. And, if you’ve ever carried an object on one arm, you know how unbalanced this can be.
In addition, when you’re lifting objects higher than mid-torso height, the lifting force shifts to the shoulder muscles. As the load rises higher, shoulder muscles become the main movers. This makes it more important to control the lift. Sudden weight shifts can also be dangerous and lead to awkward postures. An injury to the lower back could also occur if you suddenly shift your weight during a lift.
Even though most back injuries are cumulative, they don’t always happen at once. They can become more severe over time as they accumulate. A prolonged lifting position is one of the most common causes. Others include falling over on ice or a wet floor. No matter what the cause, back injuries can be prevented by effective back safety training. One-third of all back injuries can be prevented by using a lifting bar or other ergonomic design methods.