Moving to a new home is a lot of work--both physically and mentally! If you have a bad back, you have to be even more cautious than the average person, considering all of the lifting and bending that moving involves. Here are some tips to help you survive the moving process without injuring your already weak back.
Choose smaller boxes.
Whether looking around for free boxes or purchasing them from a packing supply store, always opt for smaller ones rather than larger ones. This way, even when you pack the boxes with heavier items like books and dishes, they should remain light enough that you can pick them up and move them on your own if needed.
Get plenty of help.
Even if you think you can move all of the small boxes by yourself, make sure you ask plenty of friends and family members to come help you move. Make sure you have at least two friends present when larger furniture needs to be moved. This way, these friends can lift the furniture while you direct them or help them maneuver it through doorways. Even if carrying furniture does not feel too heavy, the awkward shape of the furniture makes it easy to tweak your back if you bend the wrong way. So, you are best off avoiding this task.
Wear a back brace.
Even if you are only going to pick up small, lightweight boxes, you can't go wrong by wearing a back brace. The brace will force you to lift with the proper form: bending at the knees, back straight, eyes looking forward, and shoulders square. You can often find back braces over the counter at local pharmacies. You may need to try one on to make sure it's the proper size. It should fit snugly without creating gaps at the sides when you twist from side to side.
Give yourself plenty of time.
If you end up short on time when moving, you're likely to lift things that are too heavy for you or sacrifice your form while lifting. Give yourself plenty of time to move so you can make each move deliberately, take breaks as needed, and avoid rushing. Plan your move in advance so you know you have enough time set aside. Keep in mind that you will probably slow down as you go; plan for this slowdown.
Stretch throughout the day.
Lifting and moving boxes is exercise! If you were exercising at the gym, you would probably stretch first and then take breaks throughout your workout to stretch your back again. It only makes sense to do the same throughout your moving process. Take a break and stretch before your back starts feeling tight; every hour or two should be sufficient.
Use the ramp to load the truck.
Most moving trucks come with ramps. You may think it's less time-consuming to pass boxes into the back of the truck without the ramp, but you're likely to hurt yourself lifting heavy boxes up this high. It really is safer to use the ramp, especially when handling heavier items. Keep the box at your waist level when walking up the ramp; lifting it higher towards your chest might strain your back.
If you are mildly prone to back injuries, you should be able to make it through a move by following the tips above. But on the other hand, if your back pain is more serious, your best bet may be to instead hire a professional moving team. They can handle all of the packing and lifting for you so that there is no risk to your back. For more information, contact companies like Walsh Moving & Storage.