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Lifting awkwardly as a risk factor for back pain

 •  • by Paul Ingraham
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Weekly nuggets of pain science news and insight, usually 100-300 words, with the occasional longer post. The blog is the “director’s commentary” on the core content of a library of major articles and books about common painful problems and popular treatments. See the blog archives or updates for the whole site.

Lifting with an awkward posture does seem to be a genuine risk factor for episodes of acute back pain. “Awkward” does not mean simply stooping, but more obvious awkwardness like twisting and unbalanced loading. Interestingly, the risk declines impressively with age. Are older people just a lot smarter (or more paranoid) about avoiding awkward postures? Once burned, twice shy?

See Steffens et al for the research, and Don’t Worry About Lifting Technique for more detailed analysis.