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Typically in an adult’s life they are likely to experience back pain as a result of lifting heavy objects. Employers often train employees on the correct method for heavy lifting.

Niels Wedderkoop, Associate Professor, in a recent article published in the British Medical Association (BMA) journal evaluated 11 studies dealing with workers who experience strain on the back, specifically 8 dealt with health workers who manually handle patients, and 3 that dealt with baggage handlers.

When groups that received training on the proper way to lift heavy objects and those that received no training were compared they showed no significant difference in back pain.

Researchers account for the lack of difference between those who receive training and those who did not to be the result of workers being taught techniques that do not reduce the risk of back injury or that workers do not significantly change their habits enough for it to make a difference.

The researchers feel that a better understanding of the relationship between exposure to stresses on the back at work and the subsequent development of back pain are needed in order to develop new and innovative ways of preventing back pain.

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  • Geoff Turner February 6, 2008, 9:08 am

    I am amazed that doctors, chiropractors and insurance companies still advocate the catastrophic straight back lifting using just the knees, while ‘new’ research (already some years old) shows this is absolutely detrimental to the lower lumbar discs and a disaster waiting to happen, even to the most muscular of physical workers. The safest lifting is with a bent back and still incorporating hips and knees. This way facilitates all joints and evenly distributes the load. Children ‘scrunching down’ to pick up a cat or a puppy is the the perfect illustration of how lifting should be carried out.

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