Luggage-lifting tips for safe travels - 8 News NOW

Luggage-lifting tips for safe travels

Updated: Dec 21, 2013 08:53 AM
© iStockphoto.com / Steve Dibblee © iStockphoto.com / Steve Dibblee

FRIDAY, Dec. 20, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Carrying and lifting heavy luggage during the holidays can lead to neck, wrist, back and shoulder pain and injuries unless you take proper safety precautions, an orthopedic surgeon says.

In 2012, nearly 54,000 luggage-related injuries occurred in the United States, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

"Holiday travel can be uniquely stressful and physically taxing, especially when transporting heavy and cumbersome luggage," said Dr. Warner Pinchback, a spokesman for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

"To ensure that you arrive at your holiday destination free from pain, it's important to know how to optimally choose, pack, carry and lift your luggage," he added in an academy news release.

The academy offers the following luggage safety tips:

When buying new luggage, select a sturdy, lightweight piece with wheels and a handle.

Don't overpack. Try to carry items in a few smaller bags instead of one large suitcase. Keep in mind that many airlines restrict the size and weight of carry-on luggage.

Bend your knees when lifting. The safe way to hoist a heavy item such as luggage is to stand alongside of it, bend at the knees -- not the waist -- and use your leg muscles as you grab the handle and straighten up. Be sure to hold the bag close to your body when lifting.

Take care when storing luggage in overhead compartments. The first step is to lift the piece to the top of the seat. Then, with one hand on each side of the piece, lift the suitcase up. Place the wheel-side in the compartment first, then push the bag to the back of the compartment.

Keep your back straight. When lifting and carrying luggage, point your toes in the direction you are headed, and then turn your entire body in that direction. Don't twist your back.

Take it slow. Don't try to rush when lifting or carrying a suitcase. It's a good idea to ask for help if you are having trouble with a bag that is too heavy or an awkward shape.

Check your bags. Don't attempt to carry heavy luggage for long periods of time or for long distances, such as through a large airport terminal.

Carry your luggage when climbing stairs, don't drag it behind you.

Even backpacks can be too heavy. Make sure if you wear a backpack that both shoulder straps are padded and adjusted properly. Use all the compartments to help distribute the weight of your items evenly. Don't sling the bag over one shoulder because this can cause muscle strain.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers holiday health and safety tips.

Copyright © 2013 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

  • Paula's Health NotesLas Vegas Health NewsMore>>

  • New procedure to help Lipedema

    New procedure to help Lipedema

    Friday, August 22 2014 3:55 PM EDT2014-08-22 19:55:58 GMT
    Some women just can't lose weight and for the estimated 11 percent of women with a chronic disorder, diet and exercise won't help at all. Now, there is a new procedure doctors are now using that can help restore their appearance.More>>
    Some women just can't lose weight and for the estimated 11 percent of women with a chronic disorder, diet and exercise won't help at all. Now, there is a new procedure doctors are now using that can help restore their appearance.More>>
  • Fixing gerd for good

    Fixing gerd for good

    Tuesday, August 19 2014 3:21 PM EDT2014-08-19 19:21:39 GMT
    Acid reflux disease, a condition commonly known as “GERD”, affects about one-third of Americans. It can cause pain, coughing, heartburn and can even lead to cancer. Now, a simple procedure may fix GERD for good.More>>
    Acid reflux disease, a condition commonly known as “GERD”, affects about one-third of Americans. It can cause pain, coughing, heartburn and can even lead to cancer. Now, a simple procedure may fix GERD for good.More>>
  • Ice cold heart therapy

    Ice cold heart therapy

    Friday, August 15 2014 5:05 PM EDT2014-08-15 21:05:13 GMT
    A trial fibrillation affects about 2.7 million Americans. It's a condition that causes heart palpitations, shortness of breath and dizziness. If left untreated, it can be life-threatening. Now doctors are freezing the problem away.More>>
    A trial fibrillation affects about 2.7 million Americans. It's a condition that causes heart palpitations, shortness of breath and dizziness. If left untreated, it can be life-threatening. Now doctors are freezing the problem away.More>>
*DISCLAIMER*: The information contained in or provided through this site section is intended for general consumer understanding and education only and is not intended to be and is not a substitute for professional advice. Use of this site section and any information contained on or provided through this site section is at your own risk and any information contained on or provided through this site section is provided on an "as is" basis without any representations or warranties.
  • Recently Featured DestinationsMore>>

  • San Jose, Costa Rica

    San Jose, Costa Rica

    San José enjoys springlike temperatures year-round and its location in the Central Valley makes it both stunning and convenient as a base of exploration.More>>
    San José enjoys springlike temperatures year-round and its location in the Central Valley makes it both stunning and convenient as a base of exploration.More>>
  • Martha's Vineyard

    Martha's Vineyard

    New England sea captains' houses, ice cream shops, lighthouses and pristine beaches ... Martha's Vineyard is a picturesque island indeed.More>>
    New England sea captains' houses, ice cream shops, lighthouses and pristine beaches ... Martha's Vineyard is a picturesque island indeed.More>>
  • Cayman Islands

    Cayman Islands

    Ringed by coral reefs and pristine azure waters, the three islands that comprise the Cayman Islands are a marine paradise in the western Caribbean.More>>
    Ringed by coral reefs and pristine azure waters, the three islands that comprise the Cayman Islands are a marine paradise in the western Caribbean.More>>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KLAS. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.