Mom Was Wrong About Routine Lifting

EDMONTON, Alberta, April 19 (UPI) — Conventional wisdom that holds routine lifting may cause spinal disc degeneration and should be avoided, is mistaken, a Canadian scientist says.

Tapio Videman of the University of Alberta in Edmonton disputes the common perception physical loading such as frequent lifting causes discs in the spine to degenerate. Disk degeneration is one of the chief causes of back pain, Videman says.


Videman and colleagues find physical loading may be good for bones, muscles and tendons and slightly delay disc degeneration.

The study, published in The Spine Journal, concludes that — within limits — routine physical loading may delay degeneration and suggests those who fear disc damage gradually increase daily physical loading.

The researchers studied identical male twins where one of the siblings was, on average, 29 pounds heavier than the other. Videman said the most prevalent source of physical loading is an individual’s own body weight.

However, the research indicated loading was not harmful to the person’s spinal discs — the heavier twin had slightly less disc degeneration vs. the lighter twin.

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