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BY DR. ARNAN SISSON PT (DECEMBER 30, 2017)
There are so many bits of advice that folks have had engrained in their heads of the years. This is what most of us would call Conventional Wisdom. While very often these bits of advice have truth to them, and can help us out through life. But from time to time Conventional Wisdom is missing the mark.
One huge misconception that I often see in my physical therapy practice is that folks think that holding their breath while lifting heavy objects can possibly give them a stroke, drastically endanger their health, and even kill them!
Today I’m here to tell everyone, that breathing while lifting heavy weight will not kill you, but it actually protects your lower back significantly from injury!
I can already think of four or five clients in the past month that have come in to see me, and they lifted a heavy object outside without tightening their stomach and holding their breath. It could have been in their shed or maybe even while lifting a small child, and a few seconds later a sharp debilitating pain was felt in their back and down their leg.
While these folks have already come to see me, and were better within two to three weeks, they still had to go through the whole process of treatment. What if they could have avoided this in the first place?
The latest research shows that holding your breath and tightening your stomach while lifting will reduce the risk of aches and pains in the back significantly. And the risk for a stroke and significant health injuries are fairly low. They actually found a stroke was more common while going to the bathroom, coughing, or even having sex!
So, my advice would be, whenever your lifting objects around the home or in the gym you should take a big breath and tighten your stomach during the lift. Once your done, blow out the breath and rinse and repeat.
The only folks I’d advise to not do this would be people that have uncontrolled high blood pressure or an aneurism. Other than that, I would highly recommend using this strategy. It will prevent lots of aches and pains. And help you avoid the pills, gels, creams, and maybe even questionable surgeries that will often times waste your time and money.
If you've already gotten some back or neck pain from lifting incorrectly, no worries! We can help you right away. The link below will redirect you to the home page to access our free reports. We have a report on back and neck pain that are of no cost and offer some quick effective tips to getting better.