May 1, 2019 Admin

Weightlifting is very beneficial for your health. If done correctly, it can prevent injury, boost cardiovascular health, burn calories, and build muscle. It is also beneficial for your mental health. However, if done incorrectly, there can be many risks, especially for your lower back. You’ve most likely heard the phrase “Lift with your knees, not with your back”. This is because the improper form can lead to injury, whether acute or long-term. Fortunately, at Massapequa Pain Management and Rehabilitation we can help relieve pain caused by improper form, as well as preventing re-injury.

Risks:

With all of its benefits, weightlifting still comes with many risks. These risks include:

  • Ligament injury
  • Muscle strain
  • Short term back pain or long term nerve damage due to improper technique
  • Lumbar sprains- This can be caused by undeveloped abdominal muscles because your spine is more vulnerable when weightlifting.

Avoiding the pain caused by common exercises: 

There is one major thing you should avoid when partaking in any weightlifting activity; which is to avoid rounding your lower back. Below we have listed some common exercises, and how to properly execute them in order to avoid lower back pain:

  • Squats
    • Risks: This has been reported to have high injury rates due to improper technique or pre-existing conditions, not the movement of squatting. Performing a squat incorrectly can lead to disc herniation due to repeated lumbar flexion or rounding. 
    • How to avoid: Pay attention to the position of your spine. Be sure that it is in a neutral position, not over-arched or too rounded. Now with your feet shoulder-width apart, begin to push your knees to the side. Then move your body by your hips into the squat position. Squat until your hips are below your knees. Return to your starting position with your knees out and your chest up. 
  • Deadlifting
    • Risks: Your lower back remaining neutral will help you avoid any injury. If you round your back, it can apply uneven pressure on your spinal discs. 
    • How to avoid: Stand with the middle of your feet under the barbell. Grab the bar with your hands aligned with your shoulder. Slightly bend your knees until you touch the bar with your shins. While lifting your chest, ensure that your lower back is straight. Breathe in, hold it and stand up holding the barbell. Hold for a second, then return to the beginning position. 
  • Sit-ups
    • Risks: A lot of exercisers use the muscles in their hips to do sit-ups, which puts a lot of pressure on the discs in your spine. 
    • How to avoid: Lying face-up on your back, bend your legs with your feet firmly on the floor. Either cross your arms over your chest or put them behind your ears. Curl up with your upper body towards your knees. Lastly, return to the starting position. 

Your back health is important, which is why being aware of the harm you may be doing to it is crucial. If you want to incorporate weightlifting into your day to day routine, or just be able to properly lift heavier objects, visit us at Massapequa Pain Management and Rehabilitation. Our team can ensure you learn all of the proper techniques in order to prevent the dangers of pain or injury in your lower back.