Bad Knees and Lifting Objects

“My knees hurt. It’s hard for me to lift properly…” Knee issues are very common but there are ways to protect your back AND be kind to your knees when lifting at work or at home!

While teaching over 1 million employees how to prevent back and shoulder injuries we oftentimes have to teach alternative lifting techniques.

The facts of the matter are some people have knee pain or are in some state of de-conditioning and can’t perform textbook biomechanical movements.

Unfortunately if our legs don’t allow us to go to the floor to pick up a box, we end up bending over at the waist and using our backs to lift instead of our legs.

The “proper” way to lift is:

  • Keep your back straight
  • Head up
  • Use your legs to elevate

Keeping your back “straight” maintains your spine’s natural curves and protects your disks and other aspects of your back’s anatomy. This is accomplished by keeping your head up when lifting.

Safety Tips For Bad Knees

For heavier items, such as a box: turn it on one of its ends first to raise the box’s center of gravity so you don’t have to stoop as low. Also, if you are yourself stacking or storing items, put the heavier ones on top so a deep squat will be unnecessary when retrieving it later.

Lifting something with a handle, such as a suitcase, grocery bags, laundry bag, etc? Try a supported lift. Grab the handle and while lifting, support your weight using the other hand on your thigh.

Lighter items like a small grocery bag or even a stray sock, you can use a golfer’s lift.

Hopefully these safety tips will help preserve your knees and your back. Let us know how they work out for you!