Moving can be a pain in the hide – figuratively and literally if you’re not careful. Our professional movers can tell you from personal experience that heavy lifting and hauling can be rough on the body, especially if you’re not used to hard labor. The last thing you want is to be sidelined by an injury in the middle of a move.
Our moving team sat down and thought about the most common injuries they’ve seen and experienced as well as the best ways to avoid them. Check it out!
No part of the body feels a move as much as your back. Even people who are in great shape can end up throwing their back out of whack or worse when they’re moving boxes and furniture. The injuries that can occur from lifting heavy objects range from sore muscles to herniated disks.
How to Avoid Back Injuries
Usually technique makes the biggest difference when it comes to avoiding back injuries during a move. You’ve probably heard the old saying “lift with your knees not your back”. What that means is to squat down to pick things off the ground rather than bending at the waist. A back brace can also provide support and helps encourage proper lifting technique.
It’s important to know your limits and not lift anything outside of your comfort zone. A good rule of thumb is anything over 50 pounds should be carried by two people or carted away on a dolly. Even if you plan to do the bulk of the work yourself, using a specialty moving service is the safest bet if you have a large, oddly shaped item like a piano.
Broken Fingers and Toes
With all the running around, carrying boxes and loading things into vehicles your hands are going to be busy. Broken bones are not uncommon, particularly in the finger and toe regions. Broken toes are a top concern since it only takes one dropped box to do serious damage.
How to Avoid Broken Fingers and Toes
Heavy-duty gloves can provide an extra layer of protection, but preventative measures are the best solution. Closed-toe shoes are also a must on moving day. Make sure you can always see where you are going when you are carrying items and boxes. If you’re helping someone else carry an object discuss how you plan to pick it up, plot out a path and decide who will take the lead so there’s less shuffling around when you’re already holding on.
Securing boxes can help prevent these injuries as well. Boxes should be reinforced on the bottom so things are less likely to fall out. Also, never pack a single box with more than 50 pounds worth of stuff.
Cuts and Scrapes
It’s amazing how many sharp objects and rough edges there are in a home. There’s a good chance you’ll come across a few while you’re packing up and moving.
How to Avoid Cuts and Scrapes
Wearing the right clothing on moving day can help protect your delicate epidermis. Try to keep as much of your skin covered as possible. Jeans are a great option for the lower half since the material is rugged. Also wear gloves as much as possible, especially when you’re handling glass or mirrors.
No joints get worked more than the knees during a move thanks to all those boxes you’ve got to lift. It’s also easy to bang your knees on random objects as you move around.
How to Avoid Knee Injuries
The same precautions that protect your back from injury can also prevent knee problems. Knee braces and pads can also give you added support so that your knees don’t get banged up. Another knee-saving tool to look into are furniture sliders. They give you the ability to glide large objects across the floor so you don’t have to carry them as far.
Rolling an ankle on moving day is much easier than you’d think. All it takes is one misstep when you can’t see where you’re going.
How to Avoid Sprained Ankles
Clear a very wide path for moving things in and out of the home to lower the risk of slips and trips. Wearing the right shoes also makes a big difference. It’s best to wear mid-weight work boots or tennis shoes with a good grip.
If the weather is wet or snowy this increases the potential for slipping. Keep towels and mops handy to clean up wet spots. Products like ram board can also provide a safer work surface while protecting your floors.
The easiest way to protect yourself from all of the injuries above is to hire a moving company to do the work for you. That way you have a few less things to worry about, and your move won’t get sidetracked by a visit to an urgent care clinic.