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Lifting While Holding Infant In Carrier May Result In Lower Back Pain
Better on Back to Manually Hold Infant While Lifting

Better to manually hold an infant and lift an object than perform a lift while the baby is in an infant carrier, according to a study presented today at the 53rd Annual Meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) in Denver. Researchers who analyzed the lumbar spine during a lifting task with three different conditions found that lower back pain may be caused by performing simple daily tasks such as lifting a bag while carrying a child.

Researchers conducted the study to determine how lifting a shoulder bag while manually holding an infant and while using a front-mounted infant carrier might play into the risks of lower back pain and damaging of the lumbar spine.   Low back pain leads to a loss of wages, decreased productivity, and increased health care costs for up to 40 percent of Americans each year.

In the study, two males and eight females, ages 18 through 30, performed three trials of a lifting task under three different lifting conditions: performing the lifting task without an infant model, performing the lifting task while manually holding the infant model, and performing the lifting task with the infant model in a front-mounted infant carrier.   There was a significant increase in the stress on the low back during the lifting task while utilizing the infant carrier.

"Most people aren't required to perform repetitive lifting at work, and they don't realize that activities of daily living may be the main cause of their lower back pain, especially the simple task of carrying an infant and lifting something," said Steven Tucker, MS, ATC, lead author of the study. "Being aware of the potential stress is important because it is lower back pain and injuries that can greatly limit a person's mobility and overall activities."

Back pain is the most frequent cause of activity limitation among those under 45.   While most of these individuals will recover from their lower back pain within three to six days, statistics estimate that $31 million is spent on doctor visits for back pain, and only three percent of that total cost goes to preventing this type of injury.

ACSM encourages individuals to maintain an active lifestyle in order to best prevent lower back pain. Specifically, the training of abdominal muscles will help strengthen and support the back, leading to improved posture.
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Courtesy: www.acsm.org
 
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