Protect Your Back During Household Chores
By Sara Butler
You might be surprised to know that chiropractors commonly see people who have injured their backs when they were cleaning. Yes, by cleaning. If this has happened to you, don’t be embarrassed. Cleaning is a physical activity, and just as with any physical activity, certain precautions need to be taken in order to avoid the potential perils. Here are some examples of common household chores and how you can do them safely.
Cleaning the Floor
Whether you’re mopping, sweeping, or vacuuming you will need to take special steps to make sure you’re doing it in a way that is kind to your spine. In order to avoid putting unnecessary stress and strain on your back while you clean your floor, you should make sure to stretch and warm up just a little beforehand. Don’t reach excessively and make sure you avoid any kind of awkward twisting while you’re doing it.
Cooking Dinner and Cleaning Up After
Eating healthy foods is important for your overall health and you spinal health too, but you should take precautions in the kitchen while you’re cooking to keep from getting hurt. When you’re working at the kitchen counter or at the sink, you should stand on something that helps to provide a little cushion for your feet. Also, open one of the lower cupboards below where you’re working and rest one foot inside of it. This can take some of the pressure and strain off your spine as you stand and work.
When you haul clothes to and from your laundry room, you are putting stress on your body and your spine. The most important thing to remember when you’re doing laundry is to lift properly. Avoid twisting or any sudden, jerky movements when you’re lifting the clothes baskets, and always bend at the knees, not the waist!
You may not think of grocery shopping as particularly hazardous to your back, but it can be if you’re not practicing proper lifting technique! When you load things into your cart, make sure you use your hips and legs to bear the weight, not your back. Engage your core muscles when you’re rotating or lifting in order to avoid back injuries. Also, don’t carry all 43 bags of groceries in at once when you get home. Lighter loads will help to keep your back safe and you’ll get more exercise by walking in and out of your house more than once!
To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic.