(HealthDay News) -- Whether you're dragging out suitcases for a vacation of your own, or hauling someone else's overstuffed bags, proper lifting techniques can protect you from a back injury.

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons offers these suggestions for packing and lifting luggage:

  • Try not to overpack, and opt for suitcases with wheels.
  • Be careful when storing your bag overhead. Use both hands to carefully lift the bag over your head.
  • Make several trips from the car, rather than carrying too much at once. Ask for help if you need it.
  • Lift heavy objects by bending at the knees and using your legs, rather than your waist and back.
  • Don't twist your spine as you lift.