Here are some simple lifting techniques to help you avoid these kinds of injuries:
• Make sure you have a place to put the object you have lifted. Do not try to figure this out while holding the object. Position your body close to and in front of the object. Your feet should be flat on the floor and about a shoulder-width apart.
• If you need to turn during the lift, use your feet to pivot. Keep your elbows bent while carrying an object.
• Your leg muscles—not those in your back—should be the ones providing the power during your motion to stand erect.
• Keep the load as close to your body as possible to maximize the use of your arms and shoulder muscles. The further an object is from your center of gravity, the more force that is required to hold that object up.
• Keep your chest forward and bend at your hips (not the lower back) or your knees, depending on how far down the items is that you want to lift. Keep your shoulders in line with your hips to avoid twisting motions.
• When lifting, push your chest out, pointing forward. Avoid twisting or turning during the lift.
• Lead with your hips, not your shoulders, keeping your shoulders in line with your hips. If you need to change direction, move your hips first; this way, your shoulders will move in unison with your hips. If you move your shoulders before your hips, this will make it easier for your body to twist during the lift, leading to possible strains and other injuries to your back and pelvis.
Don't lift an object that is obviously too heavy. Test the weight of the object by pushing it with your foot. If it is very difficult or impossible to push with your foot, it is likely that the object is more than your muscles can handle.