While garbage roll carts don’t appear threatening, moving them improperly can result in injury to your back. Dr. Jessica Shellock with the Texas Back Institute offers the following tips to help you move your roll cart safely:
Clear your route. Know where you’re going and anticipate where the cart might get stuck. Make sure your route is clear of things that could throw the cart off balance or cause you to trip. Patch up holes and smooth out bumps on footpaths.
Mind the weight. If the load seems too heavy for you to be able to tip the cart onto its wheels, this is a sign that you need to remove items in the cart and reduce its weight. It might be messy, but it’s well worth the extra trouble to avoid a senseless injury.
Get help with extra heavy loads. If your cart is heavy, ask someone to help you tip it back onto its wheels as an alternative to emptying some of the contents.
Close the lid first. Make sure you have a clear vision ahead of you before you move the cart.
Approach the cart head-on. Face the cart with both feet in the direction you will be moving the cart before you tip it back.
Use both hands. Don’t try to move the cart with one hand. Use the strength and balance gained by using both hands.
Find the right balance. Hold the cart handle and tip the cart back on its wheels. Find the balance point and maintain it when you roll the cart, not allowing the cart to tip too far forward or backward. This distributes the load and takes the pressure off of you to hold the cart up.
Push forward. When at all possible, always push the cart in front of you. If you must pull the cart to go up a hill, keep your back as straight as possible and remember to keep the load balanced on the wheels.
Careful if you get stuck. If the wheels get stuck in a crack or other obstacle, back up and let the weight and momentum of the cart do the work. Don’t jerk the cart to free it. If it’s really stuck and hard to move, reduce the weight of the cart or get help.
Let it go. If the cart tips to the side, don’t try to “catch it.” While your instinct is to not let the cart fall over, letting it go and cleaning up the mess is much safer can prevent serious injury.
About Texas Back Institute
Texas Back Institute, one of the largest freestanding multispecialty spine clinics in the United States, was established in 1977 and provides comprehensive medical care for back and neck pain. Texas Back Institute is a back care leader specializing in spinal arthroplasty, minimally invasive spine surgery, degenerative disk disease and spinal deformation. As an academic health care organization, Texas Back Institute has trained hundreds of physicians, scientists and allied health professionals. Its research institution employs state-of-the-art technology and is involved in many clinical trials, including artificial discs. Texas Back Institute’s professional staff includes board-certified spine surgeons, general surgeons, internists, physiatrists, pain specialists, exercise physiologists, and a team of physical and occupational therapists. Texas Back Institute has locations in Dallas, Denton, Fort Worth, Mansfield, McKinney, Plano, Rockwall, Trophy Club, Wichita Falls, Tyler and Odessa, Texas, as well as Phoenix and Gilbert, Arizona.