Advertiser Disclosure

6 Ways to Save Your Back On (And After) Moving Day

So, you think you can just ignite your inner beast mode and start moving heavy boxes and furniture? Not so fast. Improper lifting is a high-risk factor for back injury. Luckily, we have some tips from a chiropractor to help save your back from injury.

1. Give your back some love before you begin

If you instantly spring into action, your back may revolt. The following static stretches, suggested by Dr. Daniel Pozarnsky of Balance Chiropractic & Rehab, will help improve your flexibility before you begin lifting. Hold for 45 seconds to one minute, and perform 2-3 reps of each.

Forward bend: Place both hands on a countertop, tuck your chin to your chest, and place both feet slightly in front of your hips. Push your hips out and hold.

Spinal twist: Start lying on your back, turn your head and arm one way and then bring your knees and hips the opposite direction. To increase the intensity of this stretch, apply pressure to the top knee and lower the leg toward the floor.

Piriformis stretch: The piriformis is a small muscle located deep behind the gluteus maximus. Start lying on your back, turn your head and arm one way, and then bring your knees and hips the opposite direction. To increase the intensity of this stretch, apply pressure to the top of the knee and lower the leg toward the floor.

Glute stretch: Lying on your back, place one hand on your ankle and one hand on the knee. First, pull your ankle toward your opposite shoulder, and then pull your knee toward your opposite shoulder until you feel a stretch.

2. Hinge first when you bend

Yes, bending at the knees to lift is solid advice, but if that’s all you’re doing, you’re missing the critical element to saving your back, Dr.Pozarnsky says. We need to engage our gluteus muscles first.

“Hinging at the hips allows you to engage your gluteus muscles, one of the strongest muscle groups in the body, and that actually stabilizes your back,” Dr. Pozarnsky says.

To do this, bend at the knees and push your butt/hips backward, then squat down and pick up whatever you need to carry.

“Once you pick up the object you are trying to carry, contract your abdominal region and do not overextend your back,” Dr. Pozarnsky advises. This is where most lifting-related back injuries occur.

3. Use a dolly

You don’t have to go all-out beast mode on moving day. It helps to utilize a dolly (also known as a hand-truck), moving straps and furniture sliders. You can rent these from most equipment rental or moving companies, or purchase them on Amazon.com. These tools make moving easier, but you’ll still need to move smartly.

“Don’t yank on the dolly when you’re trying to get an appliance off the ground. Aggressive and jolting movements increase the risk of pulling a muscle or straining something,” Dr. Poznarsky says.

And if moving a 300-pound armoire or heavy appliances seems a little too daunting — even with the proper equipment — and you decide to go with the pros, here’s everything you need to know before hiring furniture movers.

4. Save the Twist for Chuck Berry

There are occasions when your body will naturally want to twist or bend to navigate an obstacle or tight corner. Don’t do it. Instead, move your feet together with the load. Keep your elbows tucked in and the object you’re carrying close to your waist to promote a better center of gravity and stability.

Moving on a rainy day is slippery. Check out this rainy day backup plan to save your back and new floors.

5. Slow Is Smooth, Smooth Is Fast

The Special Forces Ops team live by “slow is smooth, smooth is fast,” and you can make it your mantra, too.

“What this means is that if you’re methodical with your actions — even if that appears slower than an alternative — in the long run, you’ll still succeed and be more efficient because your methodical approach is calculated and deliberate,” Dr. Pozarnsky explains.

My Aching Back!

So, even after all the tips, you managed to wrench your back. Should you ice it or apply heat? Dr. Poznarsky says it depends on your pain level. If you’d classify your pain level at 6 of 10 or higher, he recommends ice. For anything less, apply heat for stiffness and soreness. If your pain doesn’t resolve after three days with ice or heat, give your chiropractor a call.

 


Moving?

Make sure your mail moves with you!

Change your address at USPS.com now, and get access to over $750 in exclusive mover's coupons!

Get Started

Related Articles

How to Change Your Address Online

If you’ve recently found a new house or apartment, you know it’s exciting, but it’s also anxiety-provoking. Moving is like an endless list of tasks that you need to check off. Remember that one of those tasks is to change your address. You may be wondering how to change your address online. Good news —...

Read More

20 Moving Hacks for People in Their 20s

Ahhh…life in your 20s. You’re young, and you’ve got your whole life ahead of you: there’s no better time to see new sights, do new things…

Read More

5 Tips for Moving With an Infant Without Going Crazy

Oh, what’s that? You have a baby and you’d like to move between homes with your belongings and mind intact? It’s quite a tall order, but it’s not out of the question. If you plan ahead and arm yourself for any possibility on moving day, you can get from one home to the next with...

Read More