Back pain affects a huge percentage of the population. It can make daily living hard, but it can make things like moving especially hard. If you are getting ready to move to a new home and you suffer from back pain – either occasionally or chronically – there are things you can do to reduce the effects of moving on your back.

Here are four tips to help you have a back-pain-free move:

1. Do not over pack your boxes

Controlling your back pain starts as soon as you start packing. Pay close attention to what you put into boxes to ensure they are not overpacked. For example, large wardrobe boxes are for lightweight wardrobe items, blankets or pillows – they are absolutely not for books, plates or other heavy items.

Make sure you only pack lightweight items in large boxes and exclusively use small boxes for dense or heavy items. Use a special marker to mark super heavy boxes so you have an extra safety warning on moving day.

2. Rent the dolly

If you are renting a moving truck, you will get the option to buy extra packing supplies or rent moving equipment. Even if you pass on most of the extras to save cash, do not pass on the dolly.

Dollies take advantage of the power of leverage to make heavy items lighter. They can help you carry anything from a washer and dryer to a stack of boxes easily and with little to no pressure on your back.

3. Use safe moving and lifting strategies

In addition to having a dolly on moving day, you need to embrace other back safety strategies. When lifting, make sure you lift with your legs, and if possible, consider wearing a back brace to keep your posture in its correct alignment. Rent the moving truck for an extra day so you can take things slowly and take breaks as needed for your back.

Consider scheduling a trip to the chiropractor or doing some yoga in the days leading up to the move. Anything that strengthens your core will help to prepare your back for the extra strain and effort associated with moving.

4. Consider paying for professional help

Back pain is the leading cause of missed days from work, and if you hurt your back during your move, it may hurt you financially as you may have to pay for doctor's appointments or may lose wages. Instead of potentially hurting yourself physically and financially, consider outsourcing your move to professional movers, such as Motion Express.