Surviving back-to-school moving mania – nine ways to avoid injuries


For many, August signals back to school. If you have a child starting college or moving back after spending the summer at home, you may be slightly dreading the back-to-school moving process. Though you likely want to make sure that their dorm or apartment is stocked with everything that they need, moving, especially in 100+ degree weather, is usually not the most fun.

However, if you are about to embark on a college moving experience or are moving for some other reason, it’s important to be safe. Moving often brings aches, pains, strains and sprains. These types of injuries can seriously slow you down and cause delays or hardships during a potentially busy or stressful time.

Orthopedic Surgeon Brett Haywood, MD of Banner Health Clinic in Casa Grande has several suggestions on how you can remain injury free during your move.

  1. Allow enough time to pack and move. Slowing down and having things organized is one of the best ways to prevent moving injuries.
  2. Make sure your load is packed correctly. The weight needs to be balanced, so it won’t move around.
  3. Test the load before you lift. Push the object lightly with your hands or feet to see how easily it moves. This tells you how heavy it is.
  4. Make sure the load is easy to grip. Be sure you have a tight grip on the object before you lift it. Can you apply handles to the object to help lift it more easily?
  5. Stretch. The muscles in the back are the ones most often pulled when moving. Before moving, take some time to stretch your back muscles to loosen them. Not only will stretching protect your back while you move, it will also help you to be less sore after the move.
  6. Get help. Many injuries occur when people try to do too much by themselves. This includes lifting items that are too heavy, big and bulky for one person to move on his or her own. Enlist the help of friends, professional movers or moving equipment like dollies or hand carts.
  7. Use proper lifting techniques.
    • Lift with your legs while you straddle the load. Never bend over and pick up a box with your back. To lift with your legs, bend your knees, not your back, to pick up the load. Keep your back straight.
    • Use slow and smooth movements. Hurried, jerky movements can strain the muscles in your back.
    • Keep your body facing the object while you lift. Twisting while lifting can hurt your back.
    • Keep the load as close to your body as possible. Having to reach out to lift and carry an object may cause injuries.
  8. Take a break. Allow some time to rest throughout the day. These breaks are also a good time to eat a small snack to replenish your strength and to keep yourself hydrated.
  9. Watch out for uneven terrain. Take notice of steps, cracks or uneven flooring that could be potential hazards when moving. Stepping wrong can cause you to twist an ankle or even stumble and fall.

And lastly, prepare for the worst but hope for the best. Keep a well-stocked first aid kit on hand for any pinched fingers or stubbed toes.

In the event of a minor injury, know Banner Urgent Care is here for you. Visit our website to find a location near you.

This post has been updated. It was originally published on August 17, 2015.

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