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How to lift a box that is too large to fit between the knees

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Tags: back pain, movement, biomechanics, counter-intuitive, pain problems, spine, etiology, pro

Two articles on PainSci cite Kingma 2010: (1) Complete Guide to Low Back Pain(2) Don’t Worry About Lifting Technique

original abstract Abstracts here may not perfectly match originals, for a variety of technical and practical reasons. Some abstacts are truncated for my purposes here, if they are particularly long-winded and unhelpful. I occasionally add clarifying notes. And I make some minor corrections.

Many studies compared lifting techniques such as stoop and squat lifting. Results thus far show that when lifting a wide load, high back loads result, irrespective of the lifting technique applied. This study compared four lifting techniques in 11 male subjects lifting wide loads. One of these techniques, denoted as the weight lifters' technique (WLT), is characterised by a wide foot placement, moderate knee flexion and a straight but not upright trunk. Net moments were calculated with a 3-D linked segment model and spinal forces with an electromyographic-driven trunk model. When lifting the wide box at handles that allow a high grip position, the WLT resulted in over 20% lower compression forces than the free, squat and stoop lifting technique, mainly due to a smaller horizontal distance between the l5S1 joint and the load. When lifting the wide box at the bottom, none of the lifting techniques was clearly superior to the others. STATEMENT OF RELEVANCE: Lifting low-lying and large objects results in high back loads and may therefore result in a high risk of developing low back pain. This study compares the utility of a WLT, in terms of back load and lumbar flexion, to more familiar techniques in these high-risk lifting tasks..

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