How to avoid injuries on moving day?

2022/07/18 Home Education and advice

How to avoid injuries on moving day?
Daniel Abrego Lemus Daniel Abrego Lemus Physiotherapist

As the month of July approaches, for many it is the time once again to change houses and move.  This event, although necessary, involves several risks of injury for which there can be many reasons. Handling heavy loads, repetitive movements, narrow stairs, short truck rentals and lack of help are all factors that contribute to the risk of injury. In addition, accumulated fatigue and psychological stress only increase this already present risk.

To help you minimize your risk of injury during the move, here are some tips that will help greatly.

Moving

Pack smart

Be sure to pack smaller boxes to reduce handling big loads and thus minimize the stress on your body. Make sure that your boxes are already prepared, and that the furniture is already dismantled before your move to distribute the stress imposed on your body better.

Plan your day ahead

In advance, rent a truck with a ramp, if possible, to facilitate the movement of loads. Give yourself enough time to complete the move without the stress of rushing. In addition, plan the tools that could be useful to you during the move: harnesses, an industrial trolley, gloves, good shoes, and sliding pads, to name a few.

Warm up

Moving is a demanding physical activity for your body and such an activity requires a warm-up. The purpose of this warm-up is to prepare your body for the activity that is coming up. You could start with dynamic leg and arm stretches to pump the blood to your limbs. Begin the move with the lighter boxes to prepare your muscle for the heavier loads.

Clear the way for your move

Make sure that there are as few objects as possible in your way to minimize your risk of tripping or falling. This preventative planning will help you move and handle bulky or heavy objects easier and will facilitate your movements between the moving vehicle and your house.

Lift your loads ergonomically

You’ve probably heard the popular advice to lifting loads which is to lift with your legs and not with your back. To do so, first stand in front of the load. Spread the legs to shoulder width so that the feet are on either side of the object. Bend down by flexing the hips, keeping your back straight and using your legs to lift the load. Also, keep the load as close to your body as possible. Remember to breathe when lifting.

Moving

Recognize your limits

If you are a sedentary person with a history of low back pain, lifting smaller weights is a safer practice. Schedule frequent breaks to give your body time to recover. Plan help accordingly. It is usual to have 2-4 people to move an average sized house. Remember that you are not professionals and having 1-2 more people might be helpful to you.

Rest following the big move

Do not forget to hydrate yourself during and after this strenuous and fatiguing effort. To rest tensed muscles, it is recommended that you lie on your back with your legs supported on a chair or sofa.  This position will give your joints a chance to stretch out and rest after the stressful day and the elevated position of the legs helps to promote blood circulation. Plan to unpack the boxes the next day to divide the workload into two days.

It is normal to feel aches following this type of activity. Doing some stretches could help you relieve this type of pain. The pain should dissipate within 7-10 days. If your pain persists and does not improve over time, take the time to consult one of our physiotherapists to ensure that you receive adequate treatment.

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