Holidays an Ideal Time for Refresher on Proper, Safer Lifting

Digging out boxes of holiday decorations, hauling packages to and from the car, hiding gifts away on the higher shelves at the back of your closet … the Holiday Season certainly requires its fair share of bending, lifting and reaching. This, coupled with the cooler weather, makes December the ideal time for a refresher on proper lifting methods.

Back pain, after all, can put a real damper on the Holiday Season.

As one of the most common conditions treated by physical therapists, back pain and injury will even about 80 percent of all Americans at some point in their lives, making it one of the top causes of disability in the U.S. Fortunately, it’s a condition that’s preventable, and one of the ways of doing this is to learn proper lifting techniques.

But, preventing back pain isn’t the only concern when we talk about proper lifting. Using the proper techniques for lifting and carrying awkward and/or heavy objects is about minimizing strain on the entire body.

The goal, in other words, is to put yourself in a position that allows the body’s musculoskeletal system to work as one cohesive unit, without putting too much strain on one area, such as the lower-back or shoulders.

So without further ado, strongly consider the following tips for proper lifting during this Holiday Season … and throughout your lifetime:

Warm Up: Don’t ever assume your body’s ready to lift heavy objects without first being thoroughly warmed up. Take the time to stretch you lower back as well as your legs and hips. Also, do a few jumping jacks to get the blood flowing to the muscles in your body.

Get Close: Avoid reaching for a heavy or moderate-sized load. Get up nice and close to the box or object to minimize the force (in the arms, shoulders and back) needed to lift, and always hold it close to your body.

Bend & Lift with the Knees: We’ve all heard this before, and it’s true. But in doing so, keep your back straight and your body upright as you lower yourself to the object in question, then use your legs to rise back up.

Get a Grip: This seems to go without saying, but if you can’t get a strong, comfortable grip on the object in front of you – even if you know you can carry the weight – don’t try to be a hero. Find someone to help you or an alternative way of getting the object from A to B, such as a hand cart or dolly.

Reverse the Steps: When you get to where you’re going, set the item down just as you picked it up – but in reverse. Keep it close to the body, lower with the legs and move slowly and deliberately. You can just as easily injure yourself setting objects down as you can picking them up.

In addition, keep from twisting or reaching while lifting and/or carrying a load. Don’t rush through the process of lifting, and if you’re tired, put the work off until later

And finally, if you do feel pain during or after lifting, or you have an injury or condition you feel is holding you back from moving properly, visit a physical therapist for a full assessment prior to trying any sort of heavy or awkward lifting.

San Juan Capistrano

Hours:
Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 8:00 am – 7:00 pm
Tuesday: 2:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Thursday: 8:00 am – 1:00 pm

Services

  • Manual Therapy
  • Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Orthopedic Surgery Rehabilitation
  • Biomechanical Analysis
  • Industrial/ Work Comp Injuries
  • Neck and Spine Injuries
  • Performance Enhancement
  • Ergonomic Assessment
  • Physical Therapy
  • Balance & Gait Training
  • Surgical Rehab
  • Sports Therapy
  • Sports Injury Rehab
  • Manual Therapy
  • Spine Specialists
  • Worker’s Comp Rehab
  • Strengthening
  • Conditioning
  • Pain Control
  • Throwing Rehab
  • ACL Rehab
  • Joint Replacements

Dr. Matthew Kirsten PT, DPT, TPI Level 1 Cert.

Dr. Matthew Kirsten is a local to Mission Viejo having graduated from Mission Viejo High School in 2004. Matt received his Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology from California State University, Fullerton in 2009 where he also competed as a Division 1 pole vaulter on the track and field team. After his graduation from CSUF, Matt returned to his high school to coach the pole vault team. Matt went on to get his Doctorate of Physical Therapy degree from the University of St. Augustine in San Diego. Matt has since received certification from the Titleist Performance Institute as a level 1 medical professional. He continues to enjoy working with athletes of all skill levels and getting his patients back to the activities they are passionate about. In his spare time, Matt enjoys playing ice hockey and watching sports with his wife Jennifer and son Logan.

Robert Oakes, PTA

Bobby Oakes grew up in Capistrano Beach, California and attended St. Margaret’s Episcopal High School in San Juan Capistrano. He received his Physical Therapy Assistant License in October of 2018 after attending American Career College in Anaheim. Bobby is also Titleist Performance Institute Certified in addition to his physical therapy credentials. During his free time Bobby enjoys playing golf, surfing, running, and traveling. Bobby strives to provide the best treatment for every patient he sees and will always go the extra mile to provide the best care.

 

Jessica England, Patient Service Rep.

West Covina

Hours:
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday: 7:00 am – 6:00 pm
Wednesday: 9:00 am – 2:00 pm
Friday: 7:00 am – 4:00 pm

Services

  • Orthopedic Rehabilitation
  • Post-Operative conditions
  • Joint Mobilization
  • Strength and Conditioning Programs
  • Industrial/Workers’ Compensation Injuries
  • Sports Injury
  • Certified MDT (McKenzie Approach) for Spine and Extremities
  • Occupational Therapy/Certified Hand Therapist
  • Custom Splint Fabrication
  • ASTYM – Soft Tissue Mobilization Technique

Saousan Ramadan, PT, DPT

Saousan is originally from Boston, MA and obtained her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Simmons University. She began working with pediatrics, and has since worked with sports related injuries and the geriatric population.   She enjoys working with all populations and is an advocate for patient education and injury prevention. In her spare time, she loves to travel and has been to 18 countries (so far). She speaks 5 languages conversationally in addition to being bilingual in Arabic and English.

Ed Detels OTR/L CHT, Certified Hand Therapist

Ed Detels has been practicing hand therapy for over 20 years in Orange County. He has a Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy and obtained his national designation as a Certified Hand Therapist in 2002. He partnered with PRN to found California Hand Therapy in 2005, which has grown to 11 centers and employs 8 certified hand therapists as the leading outpatient hand therapy group on the West coast. Ed obtained his certification in ASTYM (a soft-tissue mobilization technique) as well as extensive continuing education with custom splinting, kinesiotape application and nerve mobilization. Ed is the father of three.

San Juan Capistrano

Hours:
Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 8:00 am – 7:00 pm
Tuesday: 2:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Thursday: 8:00 am – 1:00 pm

Services

  • Manual Therapy
  • Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Orthopedic Surgery Rehabilitation
  • Biomechanical Analysis
  • Industrial/ Work Comp Injuries
  • Neck and Spine Injuries
  • Performance Enhancement
  • Ergonomic Assessment
  • Physical Therapy
  • Balance & Gait Training
  • Surgical Rehab
  • Sports Therapy
  • Sports Injury Rehab
  • Manual Therapy
  • Spine Specialists
  • Worker’s Comp Rehab
  • Strengthening
  • Conditioning
  • Pain Control
  • Throwing Rehab
  • ACL Rehab
  • Joint Replacements

Dr. Matthew Kirsten PT, DPT, TPI Level 1 Cert.

Dr. Matthew Kirsten is a local to Mission Viejo having graduated from Mission Viejo High School in 2004. Matt received his Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology from California State University, Fullerton in 2009 where he also competed as a Division 1 pole vaulter on the track and field team. After his graduation from CSUF, Matt returned to his high school to coach the pole vault team. Matt went on to get his Doctorate of Physical Therapy degree from the University of St. Augustine in San Diego. Matt has since received certification from the Titleist Performance Institute as a level 1 medical professional. He continues to enjoy working with athletes of all skill levels and getting his patients back to the activities they are passionate about. In his spare time, Matt enjoys playing ice hockey and watching sports with his wife Jennifer and son Logan.

Robert Oakes, PTA

Bobby Oakes grew up in Capistrano Beach, California and attended St. Margaret’s Episcopal High School in San Juan Capistrano. He received his Physical Therapy Assistant License in October of 2018 after attending American Career College in Anaheim. Bobby is also Titleist Performance Institute Certified in addition to his physical therapy credentials. During his free time Bobby enjoys playing golf, surfing, running, and traveling. Bobby strives to provide the best treatment for every patient he sees and will always go the extra mile to provide the best care.

Jessica England, Patient Service Rep.