Though people usually blame lower back pain and disc damage on heavy lifting, a new study

1  determined that the true cause of damage is bending—specifically, in a forward direction.


While studying the effects of complex loading conditions on sheep spinal segments and comparing it other studies, researchers produced a numerical formula that could predict disc failure under the various loading situations—a development that may help employers and people everywhere understand and respect the physiological limits of the disc’s endurance.


While stress from extreme over-stretching or twisting the spine can contribute to disc failure, the most common cause of disc damage was forward-bending while lifting. In other words, you can reduce your risk of disc damage by picking up heavy loads without bending your back forward. Keep it arched.

disc damage, flexion

Disc damage from flexion.


Lift from the knees and keep your back arched inward, spare the back.

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