Back Pain Expert Nick Clark: How To Properly Lift Your Grandkids


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  • Nick Clark



Marge O asks “My granddaughter is 18 months old and lifting her is starting to hurt my lower back, what can I do to better protect my back when I do this?”


Hey Marge,

Lifting a child can be a deceptively challenging task, especially when they are upset!

The first order of business is to make sure you do not have the child rest on only one side of your body. Besides a previous injury, asymmetries are the number one risk factor for injury. For example, if you constantly hold the child on your right hip you will create a pattern of right hip hiking and side bending.

Why does hip hiking matter?

When you walk or move in general it's more efficient to move front to back through, the hips not side to side with the pelvis. If you are constantly hip hiking you will be more inclined to move side to side. This will create a tremendous amount of stress on the spine.

The motion creates an excessive shearing motion at the spine which will inevitably lead to a herniated disc, stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal), or facet joint arthritis. A shear force is a side to side pulling on the vertebrae of the spine, almost as if there is a tug of war going on.

Moreover, creating asymmetries can lead to pathologies down the path of joints. For example, if you are constantly holding the child on the right you will be loading the right hip, knee, and ankle more than the left leading which can lead to a multitude of issues.

Secondly, if lifting the chid from the ground or out of a crib it is imperative to hinge at the hips. Hinging at the hips means your feet stay pointed straight ahead, your knees bend slightly, and you bend over at the hips not from rounding the lower back.

For more simple and actionable steps visit our website at https://www.movementmattersny.org/ and download our free guide “The 3 Keys To Living Life Without Limitation” or call 1-845-283-0274 to schedule your free 60-minute consultation.

Nick Clark
214 West Street, Warwick, NY 10990
845-283-0274




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