Although we have seen many gym related lifting injuries to the low back, not all of them come from here. In fact, not even a very high percentage come from these places. Most of our lifting injuries happen at home or work, and the first thing I hear is "but I work out at a gym, I know how to lift." If only that's all there was to it.
How many times have you heard "lift with your legs?" If you're like many of us then you have heard it over-and-over for years. But when someone tells you to "keep your back straight" while you lift do you know what they mean? If you completely straighten the curvature of the spine you would actually put your spine and discs at a disadvantage. That's why the first thing you should always do is THINK!
What are you lifting? Is it small? Is it awkward is size or weight displacement? Where are you moving this thing? Because you want to prepare your body for the right type of motions.
When lifting, particularly heavy lifting, you want to plan on avoiding twisting! This puts even more stress into our discs. This includes having to adjust what we are holding in our hands. Have you even used your leg to balance something while you better your grip? Ever heaved something in the air slightly while you quickly adjust your grip? Those type of quick twisting motions are what can do the most damage to our spinal column. Test the objects before you lift.
Where things are before you pick them up makes a huge difference too! Have you ever tried to hold something heavy our in front of you? It gets pretty difficult, right? So, when we doing something as easy as packing the car truck with our groceries, or other items, make sure you put the heavier items closer to you before you lifting them out. Changing the angle of your spine in relation to your hips dramatically increases the shear stress to the spine. Think before you place or lift objects.
Just remember, poor posture while lifting or even bending over increases low back stress nearly 400%. So take a moment to prepare your body for those everyday lifts by thinking first. This will help you avoid injuries.