Health Tip: Lifting Safety for Caregivers
If you are caring for an ill or injured loved one, you could be at risk for serious injury yourself if your daily routine includes a lot of heavy lifting.
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons offers these suggestions for caregivers to help prevent injury:
When lifting a person or heavy object:
- Keep your head and neck in line with your spine.
- Don't force your spine into awkward positions, and avoid bending at the waist.
- Don't twist yourself when lifting or carrying.
- Hold the loved one or object close to your body.
- Don't stand with your feet too close together. Keep them about the width of your shoulders apart.
- Lift with your legs, not your back.
- If the person or object is too heavy to lift, ask someone else for help.
Health Tip: Protect Your Muscles
It's important to stretch and warm up your muscles before exercise.
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons lists these common risk factors for muscle strains and injury:
- Tired muscles that have been worked too hard.
- Tight muscles that haven't been properly stretched.
- Weak muscles that haven't been strengthened through training and exercise.
- Muscles that haven't been warmed up before exercise, sports or other activities.
- Muscle groups that work together that don't have properly balanced strength. For example, a stronger hamstring than quadriceps, or vice versa.