I've had a total hip replacement and can no longer squat down to pick things up. I've always been told to squat, not stoop to lift things. Is this still true?
More and more, we are finding it's time to rethink lifting advice. Studies show that under the skin, spinal motion is the same whether we stoop, squat, or lift freestyle.

It's likely that the load and shear forces on the ligaments and joint capsules is the same, too. Likewise, the spinal muscles generate the same amount of force. If anything, changes are more likely to occur in the middle part of the spine called the thoracic spine. It's possible that by only looking at the lower (lumbar) spine, we've missed a key factor: the thoracic spine.

There are long muscles along either side of the spine that start in the thoracic spine. It's likely that forces generated by these muscles account for the increased flexion seen in the thoracic spine every time a lift occurs.

Despite the results of these new studies, guidelines for lifing have not changed yet. Somtimes it takes many years and many studies to confirm new information before change occurs.

At this point, more study is needed to understand lifting as a concept and how the spine responds to different positions and loads. Until more is known, you may be better off just using the method you use most often and/or are most familiar with.

Always follow your surgeon's advice about how much to bend the total hip replacement. To pick up smaller items, you can use a special tool to grab things. For larger, heavier items, it may be best to ask someone else for help. Check with your doctor for any other precautions or liftin positions to avoid.