Between scrubbing the floors, carrying the laundry and general cleaning, there’s no shortage of opportunities for individuals to injure themselves around the house. While it would be much easier to skip your housework, it is important to confront those challenges in a back-friendly way. The good news is that there are ways to limit the chance of injury and subsequent neck or back pain if you’re careful.
Most of the aches and pains your experience after house or yard work comes from muscle strain and inflammation. Overexertion tends to inflame the muscles and tendons which can lead to nerve compression and traveling pain or discomfort. If you have a history of back problems, housework can easily contribute to re-injuring the area – that’s why regular chiropractic appointments are incredibly important.
One of the most effective ways to reduce the risk of back/neck pain is to treat the activity like it’s a workout. This means you should be taking the time to stretch out your muscles beforehand and avoid overexerting yourself. You can do so simply by pacing yourself by taking frequent, short breaks while drinking plenty of water. Here are a couple other great tips for avoiding back pain around the house:
Be creative – keep sets of tools/cleaning supplies on different floors of your house so they’re never too far away
Utilize lightweight tools – avoid large, bulky appliances like a vacuum. Instead, try a lightweight, long handled broom or rechargeable device
Know yourself – understand how much you can safely lift and do not go past that limit
Bend at the knees – using proper lifting techniques is absolutely essential when it comes to avoiding back pain
Stay prepared – if you suffer regularly from back pain/discomfort, use a hot or cold compress to alleviate the discomfort; do not let the pain sit.
In many cases, pain from housework will subside after a few days and will only require conservative treatment. Home remedies such as a cold compress can be helpful but if pain persists or even becomes debilitating, you might need to seek out more advanced options.
Dr. Judy Snider. Snider Chiropractic Clinic. sniderchiropracticclinic.com. 905-770-5131.