Winter is finally coming to an end. No more boots tracking snow and salt inside. No more frigid temperatures. No more scraping, shoveling, and checking to see how much it snowed overnight. Spring is here, and it’s time for spring cleaning! But while you dust and declutter to welcome the warmer weather into your home, it’s important to look after your back if you want to enjoy all that the season has to offer.
Around 90% of Americans suffer back pain of one kind or another during their life. Even a minor injury can limit your range of motion and make it difficult to complete the most basic daily activities you are used to. With moderate to severe back pain, tasks like cleaning up around the house can be almost impossible.
Whether you suffer from back pain or not, here are a few simple tips you can follow to look after your spine’s health while spring cleaning.
Avoid Twisting Motions
While you sweep, mop, or vacuum, you will need to turn your body every which way to get the job done. If you twist your back over and over again, you risk injuring it, or making an existing injury worse.
Instead, to get the range of motion you need to complete household chores, use your hips and shoulders to swivel and turn side to side. This will lessen the strain on your muscles, and give your back a break.
Avoid Bending at the Waist
Household chores require lots of bending and reaching, but repeatedly bending at the waist can damage your back. Try putting one foot in front of the other and bending slightly at the knee while keeping your upper body upright. This partial lunge posture will reduce strain on your back.
You should also be careful not to bend at the waist for extended periods of time, such as while doing the dishes. This hunched posture can damage discs and soft tissue in the back. To limit bending and to bring the work closer to you, open a cabinet below the sink and put one foot inside of it to bring your body into a position closer to a squat.
When lifting, always remember lift and support objects with your legs, not your back. Instead of bending forward, squat by bending your hips and knees. Bring the item you’re lifting close to your body as you straighten your legs, keeping your back straight. Avoid twisting your back while holding the item, and refrain from carrying it on your shoulder.
Seek Help If You Need It
The warmer months bring with them many exciting activities. To enjoy the season to its fullest, you must look after yourself. Ask a friend or family member to help you if you’re struggling, or hire a professional to give your home the spring cleaning it deserves.