- Dr. Kevin Bloom
Moving residences can prove to be a very physically demanding process. Numerous musculoskeletal problems can result from this process, most notably lower back injuries. The following strategies can help reduce the chance of injury from moving:
- Perform gentle warm-up exercises before beginning. For example, while standing upright, slide your right arm down the outside of your right leg to the right knee. Hold for five seconds. If you cannot go this far, then just go as far as you can. Do the same movements on your left side. Perform these movements multiple times. Another possible exercise would be to go for a short walk.
- Pace yourself. Start the packing process way in advance and try to pack a little each day leading up to the day of the move.
- Try to pack in boxes with handles. This will make it easier to lift the boxes.
- Make use of any suitcases (with wheels) you own. It is typically easier to roll a suitcase than lift a box.
- Label each box. This will ensure that you put the box down in the correct place/room when you get to your new residence. This will help avoid any unnecessary lifting.
- It is wise to pack less in each box but use more boxes overall.
- When lifting, keep your back straight and lift with your legs. Keep the object as close to your body as possible. Try to avoid twisting.
- When transporting boxes/objects from one place to another, it is wise to take smaller loads but more trips.
- If heavy and/or awkward lifting is required, it is wise to either hire professional movers or get help for at least these particular objects.
- If you become sore, discontinue what you are doing and apply ice over the affected region for 10 minutes 3-4 times per day. If the ice pack is too cold, wrap it in a paper towel or a t-shirt. If symptoms increase, discontinue use of the ice pack. If symptoms persist, follow-up with a medical physician, chiropractor or physiotherapist.
If you are a senior and/or have health/medical problems, it is imperative that you speak to your doctor first concerning your health status. In these cases, it might be wise to hire professional moving services. Many of these companies also provide packing services.