Ergonomics when Lifting and Carrying Heavy Objects – Tips to prevent injury

This is a part 2 of a series on using proper ergonomics in everyday life. In this article, I am going to share important tips on carrying heavy objects.  You end up carrying heavy objects on many occasions without even thinking about it. Think about chores done around the house like carrying a toddler, carrying groceries inside the house, lifting a load of laundry, lifting heavy objects at work, etc. The list is long and can go on and on. In fact, as a PT, I see several cases of sprains and strains due to lifting or carrying heavy objects. This usually involves back, shoulder or wrist, etc. The injury not only causes pain but also results in loss of workdays, family, and finance-related stress. No one wants that, right? We need to take care of our body and use proper ergonomics all the time, every time.  So, let’s talk about how to avoid injury by using proper ergonomics.

ergonomics - lifting and carrying heavy objects

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Ergonomics of Sitting at a Computer Desk – Guide To Prevent Injury

Correct ergonomics for any position is crucial.  If not addressed, an incorrect posture can cause pain, injury and chronic deformities. The data from the Bureau of labor shows 1/3rd of occupational injuries occur from work-related musculoskeletal disorder (MSD), for which employers pay an estimated 15 to 20 billion dollars each year for workman’s compensation. This also results in workers losing work days, extra labor, losing deadlines for projects, etc. Plus, it causes some chronic pain that a person has to suffer through. These are scary numbers, however, with the right techniques, most of these injuries can be prevented!! This is the aim of this series. To help people find a better fit for their work environment, avoid MSD and chronic pain.

I discussed the importance of a proper posture in my previous article. If you are one of the regular readers of this blog, you may have also read about how to analyze a posture.  Here, I want to talk about proper positioning while doing different activities. Essentially, your do’s and don’ts with different motions.  For instance, sitting in front of a computer for long hours, lifting and carrying heavy objects, reading a book or watching television, etc. The technical term of word ergonomics means a study of work. Per OSHA, it is defined as designing a workplace to fit a person’s body. And not making a person fit to design. Yes, it is personal customization of your surroundings!! The first part of this series is ergonomics for sitting in front of a desk like a computer or a television.   Continue reading “Ergonomics of Sitting at a Computer Desk – Guide To Prevent Injury”

A therapist’s guide to Postural Analysis

Understanding a patient’s posture is a major goal for a Physical Therapist for many conditions.  A physical therapist performs postural analysis or posture assessment to determine proper anatomical alignment or posture to identify any abnormalities.   A proper/ normal posture ensures an even balance of the body and prevents a specific set of core muscles from getting overworked.   You may have heard about poor posture or an incorrect posture, and I also published a series of articles talking about different stretches to correct the upper body posture (neck, scapula, and chest).  Physical therapists always look for abnormalities to determine the imbalances that need a fix.

Our body is amazing, it automatically finds a way to compensate for a weakness, imbalance or pain. It starts favoring one side vs other, or few muscles vs others. When this happens, our posture gradually changes. Over time, this becomes obvious. In addition, using few muscles more than other starts to become uncomfortable and painful.  The postural imbalance also causes problems like a muscle spasm, and or bony changes (in chronic cases).

So, let’s talk about what a correct or ideal posture looks like.

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Scapula movements : Important Exercises to correct the Posture

Scapula or shoulder blades play a pivotal part in maintaining a proper posture.  In turn, movements and stretching of the scapula are crucial for posture correction.   No one likes to see a tall healthy person with rounded shoulder or humped back. Yes, if there is a medical issue and it is not fixable than that is a different story.  But, a healthy person will not make a good impression (especially the first one) with poor posture. Continue reading “Scapula movements : Important Exercises to correct the Posture”

Chest Stretches for Posture Correction

Chest stretches and opening exercises are useful in improving the breathing pattern, correct muscle imbalance, and boost proper posture.  Moreover, chest stretches also help relieve stress and help relax the body.  Stretching exercises are usually pleasant if done correctly following expert guidelines. Lengthening a shortened or tightened muscle also relieves muscle tension and reduces pain.


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Posture Correction: Neck Stretch and Isometric Exercise

The neck position is crucial to achieve a  proper posture. It’s been said that the “first impression is the last impression”. I know it may not be true 100% but your first impression plays a vital role in several things. The way you carry yourself carries around 70 % to 80% of weight in that first impression. So, I want to dedicate a series of articles on postural correction exercises. I am going to talk about upper body posture and exercises for neck, chest and upper back in this series.

Neck stretches and exercises are important to reduce neck pain, tightness and to improve posture. In this era of computers and phones, many of us are constantly in front of a screen, which creates either forward head posture or computer neck.  I want to dedicate this article to all the computer savvy readers whose neck is working overtime all the time (with no bonus)!!

neck exercises

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Having Back Pain? Here are 7 Simple Stretches to Relieve Back Pain


The aim of this article is to talk about some important stretches for low back pain.  I talked about Sciatic nerve pain as well as low back pain in my previous articles.   In this article, I focus on combination stretching exercises to reduce sciatica pain as well as low back pain.   The stretches below will help alleviate the pain on both the left and right side.  So let’s get started!!

Stretching exercises are necessary for many ways. An athlete needs to stretch his/her muscles prior and after any workout. A recreational player needs stretching to avoid any DOMS (Delayed onset of Muscle Soreness). A person who is exercising to gain muscle strength also needs to stretch the muscles after his exercise regime. A person suffering from injury or back pain stretches the muscles just to feel better.    No matter what level a person is at for exercises, they need to stretch the muscles. Stretching is done for the whole body and all muscles.

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Seven Knee Exercises to Improve Strength

I talked about Knee arthritis in detail in my previous article.   Today, I want to discuss important knee exercises.  The aim of exercises for arthritis is mainly to ease the (knee) pain and increase muscle strength.   If the muscles surrounding a joint are strong than your joints are protected and well-cushioned. A person is less likely to put more force on a joint when he or she has strong muscles. This is not only true for knee arthritis but works similarly for pain, tendon or ligaments tear, any post and pre-operative surgery of a joint, etc.. Exercise is your answer. Remember, there are thousands (not literally of course) different exercises you can do for knee and there are a million modifications (again no literally) can be made in positions, adding weight or not, making it more challenging vs not. The aim here is to discuss the most important exercises for the knee. These are kind of your MUST DO to achieve higher strength and reduce pain. So let’s start!! Continue reading “Seven Knee Exercises to Improve Strength”

Effects of Exercise on Body – Importance of being Active

Effects of Exercise

I talk about what kind of exercise we should do with different pathology. I often discuss exercises as a prevention method. In this website, I also wrote a few articles on career development for physical therapists and student physical therapists. What I still have to do is, to talk about the effects of exercises!! Why do we need to work hard to do something called “exercise or work out” (unless you are like me who enjoys that sweaty hour followed by body ache!). What does exercise do to our body, bones, muscles, soft tissues, etc.. Important to know, isn’t it? So here is to the main effects of exercise.

Effects of Exercise on our body

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Effects of Food on our Body

Often, I  talk about prevention measures of a pathology. One of my favorite topics is eating healthy food and having a balanced diet as a preventative measure. After all, your body becomes what you put into it and what you do with it! So many times, I hear people talking about eating particular food upsets their body, or flares up the symptoms. Contradictory, eating different kind of food (a healthier version of course) helps a person to feel better and reduces the symptoms. Since this is becoming so common, I want to dedicate this article on nutrition. Nutrition is basically what we feed our body. It is how our body gets energy. Once we start going into detail about nutrition, it is easy to understand how a different source of diet affects our organs and so our health!!  

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A Physical Therapist Guide to Treat and Manage Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)

Congestive heart failure is a series of conditions when cardiac output cannot meet the metabolic demand of the body. Approximately 5 million people in the United States have been diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure (CHF). More than half a million people are diagnosed annually. Heart failure is mainly due to a structural or functional defect in the heart. The aim of this article is to talk about the role of physical therapy and the importance of an exercise regime in patients with congestive heart failure.Congestive Heart Failure

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Causes of Chronic Back Pain and Physical Therapy Exercises for Treatment and Prevention


Chronic back pain is a very common symptom among healthcare and non-healthcare professionals. More than 70% of time people visit their primary care physicians with a complaint of low back pain. The reason for low back pain varies. It can be wrong posture, work habits,  lack of exercise, poor muscle control, to some structural, physiological or psychosocial changes!!  a person can complain of pain on the entire back or on one side.  The aim of this article is to talk about the common causes of low back pain and some treatment approaches.

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Sciatica pain – Prevent and Treat Sciatic Nerve Pain

Sciatica pain affects a wide range of the population.   The pain can show itself as numbness and be tingling in a leg, starting usually from low back or buttock area, going down to thigh, knee or all the way to the ankle, usually one side of body… unable to sit, stand or walk without pain.   As a physical therapist, I meet at least two to four people a day who complains of sciatic pain – and they are not necessarily my patients, but my colleagues, my friends, relatives of my patients, my family members and a few of my readers. Sciatica affects young age, middle age, and old age people. And how can I forget wonderful pregnancy and Sciatica?  So, today, let’s talk about what is Sciatic Pain and how physical therapy can help to treat it.

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A comprehensive guide to different types of transfer in Physical Therapy

There are many types of transfer a clinician can guide a patient to perform.  As physical therapists, we come across different people with different limitation and abilities. While providing a PT treatment or assessing the patient, our goal (along with patients and families) is to make our patients independent in the majority of functional tasks.

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