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Preventing Back Injury While Moving Items Into Self-Storage


Preventing back injury while moving items can save you time and money. Eighty percent of adults will experience some form of back injury in their lifetime. About 800,000 yearly workplace back injuries are the result of manually lifting materials. Most people don’t know how to lift heavy objects properly. Repeated lifting, sudden movements, and lifting and twisting at the same time can all cause back injuries.

Prepare before you lift

The best way in preventing back injury while moving items is to prepare before you lift. When you know you will be lifting heavy objects, you can prepare in several ways. First, take the time to inspect the items you will be moving. Test their weight and decide if you will need assistance. You can also prepare the specific items you will be lifting. To ensure the items you’re moving are as easy as possible to move:

  • Pack smaller boxes instead of larger ones;
  • Disassemble furniture so it is lighter;
  • Plan to use a cart or dolly if needed.

Also, remember to plan your route. Map a safe route between where you’re moving to and where you’re moving from. Ensure there’s nothing blocking your path and there are no tripping hazards or slippery floors.

To prepare for the strenuous activity, stretch your muscles before you move. A warm-up increases the temperature in your muscles, which makes them more pliable, increases your range of motion and reduces your risk of injuries.

Use proper lifting techniques

Preventing back injury while moving items can be easily avoided. Overestimating your own strength and underestimating the importance of using proper lifting techniques can both lead to injury.

  • Keep a wide base of support. Use your feet as a stable base and they will hold your entire body in position during the lifting process. Your feet should be shoulder width apart with one of your feet slightly more forward than the other.
  • Keep your chest forward. Keeping your chest forward and your abdominal muscles engaged will ensure that your spine is aligned. Your shoulders should be back, you should be facing straight ahead, and your upper back should be as straight as possible.
  • Lift with your legs. Bend your knees, not your back. Squat and use your leg muscles to lift the object off the ground.
  • Keep heavy objects as close to your waist. This ensures that the weight is centered and distributed evenly throughout your body. This will help maintain your balance and prevent your vision from obstruction. Avoid lifting heavy objects over your head whenever possible.
  • Push, don’t pull. It is better for your back to push heavy objects forward than to pull them towards you. Use the strength of your legs to move the objects forward.

Back pain relief

What if preventing back injury while moving items is no longer an option and you are already in pain? There are some simple stretches that can help alleviate your back pain.

  • Supine knees to chest: Lie on your back on a firm surface, with your arms and legs extended. Inhale, then as you exhale pull your knees to your chest while keeping your back on the floor. Take a few breaths, then release.
  • Supine spinal twist: Lie on your back with your arms outstretched and palms facing up. Raise your right knee and twist so it crosses the left side of your body. Keep your shoulders on the floor and relax into this position for a few breaths, then release.
  • Cat/cow: Begin on your hands and knees, with your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. With your fingertips pointing directly in front of you, inhale as you drop your belly towards the mat. Exhale as you draw your belly into your spine and round your back to the ceiling. Repeat slowly ten times, then relax.
  • Cobra stretch: Lie on your stomach with your head lifted and your palms on the floor. Hug your elbows back into your body and inhale as you begin to straighten your arms to lift your chest off the floor. Puff your ribs forward.
  • Child’s pose: Begin on your hands and knees, and exhale as you bring your knees to the floor and stretch your arms in front of yourself. Rest your buttocks on your heels and dip your torso between your thighs. Allow your forehead to come to the floor and rest for a few breaths.

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