How to lift a child correctly

Welcome to Spine Hacks, tips from Beaverton Oregon chiropractor, Kip Thompson, DC. 

Today’s segment his about how to keep your kid from killing your back. In this video I show you two ways to safely lift your child. 

Kids can be so hard on your back as a parent. They’re so much closer to the floor than we are. We have to bend repeatedly throughout the day just to take care of them. To demonstrate how to lift them in a manner that won’t cause back pain, I use a dowel and a 20 lb kettle bell, or “kettle baby.” When you bend forward the goal is to keep your spine in neutral alignment. I’ll show you how to do that with the help of the dowel. If I bend correctly, this dowel will stay in contact with my head, mid mid back and my tail bone. If I bend incorrectly, the stick will lose contact with one or more of those three points. Most of us will bend the quick and easy way, hinging at our lower back. When done repeatedly throughout the day this can cause too much stress in the lumbar spine and we may end up with an injury. Instead of hinging from the lumbar spine, we want to hinge with our hips, as I demonstrate in this video using the dowel placed length-wise along my spine. When you hinge with your hips, your spine stays in a neutral posture and your leg muscles do most of the work. Once you get the hang of doing it with the dowel, put the dowel aside and practice with a weight like this kettle bell or your actual baby!

Another option instead of squatting to pick up your child is to use more of a lunge-type movement. Put one leg in front of the other, then kneel down to the ground. If done correctly, your spine will stay in a neutral (and safe) alignment just like it does when you squat with the dowel along your spine.

That’s it for today’s Spine Hack from Catalyst Chiropractic and Rehabilitation! We hope you enjoy this video and put these tips into practice to protect your spine and live a healthier and happier life.

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