If you or someone you love is moving and has already had a back or spine condition the process of moving can have serious consequences to your spine health. Extra precaution and planning are key to preventing more damage to your spine, back or neck during this stressful and exhaustive process.
It is estimated that approximately 43 million Americans will move this year with over half of those moves occurring in the months of June, July and August. Almost all people that have relocated complain of back pain during or after the process of moving has been completed. If you are planning a move during this peak season it will be even more important to plan ahead as the resources of help available will be tight and the weight of poor planning for your move will literally fall on your back!
The following tips may not only help you avoid additional injury to your back, spine or neck but could actually save you money and alleviate additional stress on the entire family.
- Use Proper Lifting Protocols
To make sure you prevent further injury, you’ll want to be sure to follow the fundamentals of heavy lifting, which include keeping your spine alignment as neutral as possible during the process. When picking heavy loads up off the ground, bend at your knees—not your waist and power lift up through your legs keeping your spine straight in alignment. Also, be aware to engage your abdominal muscles for further support of your spine. Carry heavy loads close to your body to maintain balance, and don’t twist your body lifting or carrying. If you do have to twist or turn, do so with your hips first, not your feet
- Give yourself enough time to properly prepare for your move.
Most people will underestimate the time needed to prepare for a move, thus leaving a tremendous amount of physical work to be done at the last minute with little or no extra help from outside sources. Most professional moving consultants suggest you start your moving preparation 8 weeks in advance of your move.
- Don’t overpack your boxes
Moving boxes are each designed to hold a certain amount of weight, and exceeding that can lead to additional strain or injury on your back, spine, and neck. It may be tempting to stuff a large box full of items, however, you should consider the weight of the items in the box and correlate those to the box sizes. Small boxes are great for heavy items such as books, while large boxes should be used for lighter bulk items such as clothes, pillows, and light fragile items such as lampshades.
- Delegate the heavy lifting to someone else
It is important to realize that investing in movers to help you do the heavy lifting is an investment in your health. If you are on a budget you may want to rent a truck yourself but hire people to pack and to move your objects. This will lower the cost and give you more time to have a truck on your property but spare you the chance of risking further injury to your back or spine.
- Consult with your doctor
If you are under the care of a spine physician it is a good idea to check with your doctor and to let him or her know that you are about to embark on this major life event. Your back or spine physician may have special instructions for you in consideration of your particular back or spine condition.
Moving is not only emotionally difficult, but your body can also undergo a lot of stress with minor and more severe injuries a possibility. If you already have a back or spine condition the move and stress can cause much further damage. Be sure to take the time to insure the health of your spine so you can enjoy your new home and new adventure!
About Joseph Spine
Joseph Spine is an advanced center for spine, scoliosis and minimally invasive spine surgery. Founded by Dr. Samuel A. Joseph, a fellowship trained, board-certified orthopedic surgeon. His practice includes the specialized, conservative, and surgical care of patients. Treatment includes therapeutic injections, disc replacement surgery, minimally invasive techniques, and complex reconstruction of adult and pediatric spinal disorders. Dr. Joseph is also among a select group of surgeons to offer cutting-edge regenerative injection (stem cell) therapy.