By: Erin E. Ducat DC, CSCS, CCSP, DACRB, FACO
Chiropractic Physician in Bloomingdale, IL – Board-Certified in Orthopedics, Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation
Do you wear a back support or lifting belt to “protect” your back when lifting at work, in the yard or at the gym? Most people will strap on a back support if they see others wearing one, if their back gets sore or if they want to lift a heavier load. Are back belts a good thing?
According to research performed by Stuart McGill PhD, wearing a back support belt does not prevent back injuries in people who have not had a back injury before. In fact, if you hurt your back while wearing a lifting belt, the injury is more likely to be severe. Back supports raise your blood pressure and encourage people to lift heavier loads.
When Dr. McGill studied people lifting with back supports on, he discovered that they only provide support if the person allows their back to flex forward versus keeping it straight. Lifting with your back flexed is a vulnerable position. It strains the discs and pulls on the muscles in directions that were not intended to bear load. When they took the back support off, these people still tended to lift in a flexed position — putting them at a high injury risk.
If you want to have (or keep) a healthy back, don’t wear a back support or lifting belt. It’s better to learn how to properly brace your core muscles and lift keeping your back straight.
If you need help learning how to lift without hurting your back, give my office a call at 224-653-8094 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve an appointment. Over the years I have trained hundreds of people how to safely lift, whether they are deadlifting 200 lbs or lifting their grandkids!
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