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Spin Cycle, or Spine Cycle?

By Krista Elliott

As I write this, I can hear my washing machine going through its spin cycle. It's pretty much a constant background hum in our household, especially as the 3-year-old is toilet training and the results have been sporadic at best. After lugging yet another overflowing basket up the stairs, I ask myself yet again if maybe nudists are just people who got sick of doing laundry. 

Besides being a lot of work, laundry chores can present a plethora of potential issues for your joints and spine. How so, you ask? Well, put down the laundry basket, prop up your feet, and let's look, shall we? 

Olympic Laundry Basket Lifting - Back and forth, and to and fro, and up and down, all while carrying loads of shirts, jeans, and skivvies — it's heavy work! And if you're in a rush, tired, or distracted, it's all too easy to forget proper lifting techniques. But bending at the waist to pick up your laundry can be a recipe for disaster, leading to subluxations, muscle spasms, and even herniated discs. Especially if you're brilliant like me and try to carry more than one basket at once, stacked on top of each other. 

Retrieving Socks from Narnia - Whether you're stretching to grab that last washcloth from the bottom of the washer, or reaching to fetch an errant sock from between the dryer and the wall (how do they get there?) doing laundry involves a surprising amount of reaching, stretching and bending. And if you overdo it, or stretch the wrong way? Yep, you can wind up with strained muscles and misaligned joints. 

Fitted Sheets are Evil - So now that you've got all that laundry out of the dryer, it's time to fold it! (We won't even discuss ironing, because as a writer, I don't actually know what an iron is.) Maybe you fold pieces as they come out of the dryer, which involves a lot of bending up and down. Or you dump it all on the bed and fold it there, like I do. Or you plunk your basket on the floor and fold your laundry on the couch while catching up on your favorite show. The thing is, unless you're folding your laundry on a stable, counter-height surface, you're straining your back. Why? Because if you have to bend over to fold, you're putting pressure and strain on the lower spine. And if you have to twist back and forth (like when you're sitting on the couch), that's not good either. 

When doing your laundry, keep the loads light, your folding surfaces at a good height, and maybe invest in a grabbing aid for getting that last sock from the bottom of the washer. And most importantly, keep your joints in optimal alignment with a visit to The Joint Chiropractic. Our chiropractic experts use precise and gentle adjustments not only to help relieve existing pain and misalignments, but to help prevent them in the first place. And you don't even need an appointment! 

So, instead of considering nudism (although at least Texas is warm enough for it this time of year), do all the laundry you need to. Just make sure to make a visit to The Joint part of your routine! 

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