“Lift on three…one, two, OUCH!”

Improper lifting is a common cause of many types of back injuries, with twisting and turning while lifting doing the most damage. Whether you’re helping a friend move out of their apartment or picking something up at work, most of us lift things incorrectly.

The next time you lift something heavy, remember not to bend over with your knees locked. Instead, form a “tripod” by placing one knee on the ground with the item you’re lifting close to your body. Lift the weight of the item over the knee on the ground and then continue lifting by straightening both legs. This way of lifting is far better than keeping both feet together and bending both knees at once!

Be mindful that it isn’t always lifting heavy objects that leads to back pain—longstanding problems can be set off by doing no more than reaching to pick up a newspaper. Always be conscious about the way your body is moving.