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.

Vallejo

Hours:
Monday – Thursday: 7:30 am – 6:00 pm
Friday: 7:30 am – 5:00 pm

 

Jeremy Faust, MPT, CSCS, Clinic Director

Jeremy received his Masters of Physical Therapy degree from Loma Linda University in 2003. He obtained his Certified Sports and Conditioning Specialist from the NSCA in 2005. He has focused his work in the out-patient therapy setting for the majority of his career. He has taken many continuing education courses over the years with emphasis on the Mulligan Concept, Kinesio taping, manual therapy, and neurological rehabilitation.

Jeremy believes in treating the patient as a whole and finding the true cause of the problem prior to treatment. He prides himself on treating each patient as an individual and providing them with education on how to prevent future injuries. He enjoys exercising, playing all kinds of sports, and cheering for his favorite sports teams.

Marcus Ramos, PT

Marcus graduated at Carrington College in Pleasant hill, CA. He has 3 years of experience working in orthopedic outpatient practices in Vallejo. Marcus specializes in orthopedic and sports physical therapy, and has taken continuing education credits involving manual therapy, Kinesio Taping and Mulligan techniques. He is also an active competitor in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and submission grappling; a hobby which allows him to relate to athletes trying to return to their respective sports. Marcus believes that one of the most satisfying aspects of being a physical therapist is seeing patients return to their previous level of function.

Lary Liwanag, PT

Lary earned his physical therapy degree in Angeles University in the Philippines. He has been treating and caring for patients for over 20 years and places emphasis on a thorough evaluation, manual therapy skills and patient education. He enjoys one-on-one interaction with his patients as they progress through their rehabilitation. He loves spending time with his family friends and enjoys cycling, mountain biking, basketball.

Linda Camilleri, OTR, HTC San Jose State University

Linda graduated from San Jose State University in 1987 with a BS in Occupational Therapy. She started her work in hand therapy at North Bay Hospital under the supervision of a Certified Hand Therapist in 1992. She spent 7 years there before moving on to Grove Andersen, Ghiringhellii where she has worked independently for 15 years with a variety of Acute, Overuse and Chronic hand diagnoses. Her case load consists of private pay industrial and partnership patients. She received her Hand Therapy and Physical Agent Modalities Certification from the Board of Occupational Therapy in 2003. She enjoys spending her free time gardening and in the out of doors hiking and skiing especially in the Sierras.

Ann Natali-Mendoza, PT, DPT, CSCS

Ann grew up in the small town of Chester, CA where she played high school tennis, soccer, and was on the ski team. She went on to get her undergraduate degree in Psychology at University of San Francisco. Ann then moved to Orange County where she completed her Doctorate of Physical Therapy at Chapman University. Since graduation, Ann has worked as a traveling PT in Arizona, and at various outpatient clinics in the Bay Area. She enjoys working with a variety of populations and levels of function, helping patients reach their maximum potential. Ann has taken many continuing education courses including Performance Movement Techniques by Rocktape, as well as Mulligan and Maitland manual therapy courses. Ann has also completed training to become a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), and plans to begin a yearlong Certified Orthopedic Manual Therapy program (COMT) this spring. During her free time, Ann practices yoga and enjoys hiking and camping with her husband and dog. She continues to play tennis, and ski (when it’s not too cold) and is currently trying to learn how to golf, although she has yet to make it past the driving range.

Benicia

Hours:
Monday – Friday: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm

 

Jeremy Faust, MPT, CSCS, Clinic Director

Jeremy received his Master’s degree in Physical Therapy from Loma Linda University in 2003. He obtained his certification as a Certified Sports and Conditioning Specialist from the NSCA in 2005. He has focused his work in the outpatient therapy setting for the majority of his career. He has taken many continuing education courses over the years with emphasis on the Mulligan Concept, Kinesiotaping, manual therapy, and neurological rehabilitation.

Jeremy believes in treating the patient as a whole and finding the true cause of the problem prior to treatment. He prides himself on treating each patient as an individual and providing them with education on how to prevent future injuries. He enjoys exercising, playing all kinds of sports, and cheering for his favorite sports teams.

Christina Merkl, PT, DPT

Christina is originally from upstate NY and obtained her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from the University at Buffalo. After working for 3 years in New York, she moved to Phoenix, AZ where she had the opportunity to work with several high-level athletes and learn several Manual Therapy approaches. She has now made the Bay Area her home and enjoys working with all populations. Christina enjoys being active and spending time with her husband and their 2 boys.

Eydee Mazenko, PTA, CMT

Eydee received her Associates of Science degree in Physical Therapy in 1998. She has spent the past 20 years working in the outpatient orthopedic setting. She has taken many continuing education courses over the years. Her passion is in manual therapy and she is an Advanced John Barnes Myofascial Release therapist. She is dedicated to health and wellness and integrates Pilates and yoga into rehabilitation. In her free time, she enjoys competitive sailing, cycling, and hiking.