Original Editor - The Open Physio project

Top Contributors - Rachael Lowe and Kim Jackson  


Many lower back injuries come about as a result of poor lifting techniques, something that physiotherapists are uniquely placed to address. The following principles of safe lifting should be covered whenever you treat a patient with Lower back pain.

Principles of Safe Lifting

  • Assess the immediate area and load to be lifted.
  • Bend the knees to lower the body to the level of the load.
  • Keep feet shoulder width apart to ensure a broad, stable base.
  • Keep the back straight (though not necessarily erect).
  • Use a firm, palmar grip.
  • Keep the arms close to trunk.
  • Keep the load / weight close to the Centre of gravity and within the Base of support.
  • Point / pivot the feet in the direction of the movement. Never rotate the trunk while lifting.
  • Lift using the strong muscles in the legs, rather than the postural muscles in the trunk.
  • If the load is too heavy for one person, wait until you can get help.