How to Avoid Pain from Housework and Yard Work in 5 Steps
Injury usually occurs right at home! Housework and yard work can cause neck and back pain to flare up, leaving us sore or even worse, causing an injury. If you have a pre-existing issue in your neck or back, you’ve always got to be cautious about reinjuring yourself. And if you don’t have that kind of pain already, the last thing you want is to start down a path of chronic back or neck pain. Fortunately, you have more control over this than you think.
First and foremost, wear supportive shoes. I cannot tell you how many of my patients complain that their back pain flared up horribly over the weekend after cleaning and cooking a lot.
Stay hydrated. You’ve heard me talk about hydration for many health reasons. It applies here as well. If it is hot outside, add some electrolytes to your water. Being well hydrated and not letting your electrolytes get too low will help prevent muscle cramping and spasms.
Take a Stand
How you stand or bend can make a big difference in avoiding pain after household activities. When sweeping or raking, try a scissor stance with your legs instead of bending forward. Put one leg forward and one leg back, keeping your chest up while you sweep or rake. Switch feet every so often.
If your activity involves lifting, lift properly, slowly and mindfully! Keep your legs about a shoulder width apart. If the object is awkward or large, it is okay to widen your stance. Also make sure to:
Get right in front of what you are lifting. Never lean to the side or twist to lift.
Squat by bending the knees and flexing at the hips, pushing your buttocks backwards but keeping your chest up as much as possible.
Hold the object you are lifting close to your body. When you set it down, do the same thing in reverse. Never twist or lean to the side to set the item back down.
Plan and DONT Rush!
Simply put, don’t try to do the entire task in one day. Because we live such busy lives, we have so little time. I often find that patients hurt themselves because they try to fit a large project into their one, free day of the weekend.
All the Right Moves
Exercises are not just for general fitness – specific ones can be preventive for pain. Since most house and yard work involves repeated bending, Contact Berry Chiropractic Center to have an Functional Movement Screen performed..
FMS is the screening tool used to identify limitations or asymmetries. It measures seven fundamental movement patterns that are key to functional movement quality in individuals with no current pain or known musculoskeletal injury..