Moving: it’s a fact of life. We all have to do it at one time or another. The expenses of a move tend to add up, and it can be tempting to cut costs by doing the move all by yourself. However, by doing so, you run the risk of all types of injury, as most people don’t have the proper training or equipment to handle heavy or unwieldy items. Read on to find out why moving can be a literal pain in the neck, and how you can avoid common moving injuries.
Back injuries are among the most common move-related complaints. Lifting heavy or bulky items improperly can at best lead to sore or strained muscles, and at worst to a serious injury like a herniated disc. Back injuries tend to take a long time to heal, meaning you’ll be out of commission for weeks to come.
How to avoid back injuries?
The number one factor is proper technique. Use your legs, not your back to lift. Squat down to pick up the item and lift from there, rather than bending at the waist. Also, avoid packing any boxes heavier than about 50 pounds. You should be able to lift each box with minimal strain and feel steady on your feet. A back brace can also help, by giving your back support and encouraging proper lifting form. Do you have an unwieldy item, like a piano? Don’t even think about lifting it – call a pro.
Fingers and toes
Your fingers and toes can take a real beating during a move. Whether your fingers get slammed in a door, smashed underneath a box or stepped on by a klutzy family member, you could be in for a lot of pain. Heavy duty gloves can help, but there’s no way to entirely prevent mishaps.
Your toes are at risk, too, especially if you commit one of the biggest moving no-no’s and try to get the job done in open-toed shoes, or even light tennis shoes. Proper footwear, with adequate ankle support and a hard toe box, can prevent some of the worst injuries. However, dropping a heavy piece of furniture on your foot will be painful no matter what you’re wearing, and can lead to a slow-to-heal broken toe.
Think you’re in good shape after those long hours logged at the gym doing bicep curls and squats? You might think again after a move. No matter how much you work out, your muscles aren’t used to the type of movements you’ll perform in an average move. If you’re lucky, you’ll be extraordinarily sore the next day. If you’re not, you could wind up with a debilitating strain or sprain. Again, make sure you lift properly, avoid over-packing boxes and take frequent breaks.
Ankles and knees
Let’s face it – moving is not easy on the joints. Lifting a box the wrong way can do a number on your knees, as can banging them into a heavy object. And it doesn’t take much to sprain an ankle – just one false step on the stairs or an icy porch, and you’ve got an injury that can take weeks to heal.
To protect your knees, take many of the same precautions that you’d take for your back. Always use the strength of your legs to lift rather than your back, and try knee guards and braces in addition to a back brace. Furniture sliders can be a life-saver as well, as they make it easier to move heavy objects. To keep your ankles safe, clear a wide path as you move objects, to prevent any slips or trips. If it’s snowy or rainy on the day of your move, make sure to keep surfaces as dry as possible, and wipe up any wet spots to keep yourself from slipping and twisting an ankle.
Cuts and bruises
No matter how careful you are on moving day, accidents happen. You may not realize it before the move, but your home is full of sharp edges and objects. You can protect yourself by keeping as much of your skin covered as possible, even if it’s hot outside, and by wearing gloves, especially when moving glass objects like mirrors.
As we’ve seen, moving by yourself can be a risky proposition. You may be wondering whether it’s worthwhile to risk potential injury just to save a few bucks. Why not leave the heavy lifting to the pros? When you hire professional movers who have the expertise and the proper equipment to move safely, you’re guaranteed to feel energized – and healthy – enough to tackle the next big job: getting everything unpacked.
Remember, professional moving services don’t have to cost a fortune. When you call Highland Worldwide, you’ll be doing yourself a favor by finding high-quality, affordable professional movers. If you’re in the Vancouver area, call Highland Worldwide today at 604-581-2300 for a safe, reliable move!