Cleaning a home is a surprisingly physical activity that can leave you feeling accomplished, but also worn out and sore, especially if you are prone to lower back pain. With awareness of your approach to each task, and some simple tricks, you can get your home clean without putting excessive strain on your back.
Strengthen the Core
The core muscles are the muscle group that supports the lower back, found in the upper thighs, back, and abdomen. Any fitness routine should include exercises aimed at strengthening these “core” muscles, to avoid injury to the lower back, because they support the spine and provide most of the body’s trunk strength. While cleaning, you can exercise these muscles by shifting your weight from one leg to the other about every thirty seconds. Use the sink or counter if necessary to stabilize your balance while doing dishes or cleaning. While standing for long periods of time, shift your weight and move around to avoid putting strain on one set of muscles, and widen your stance to better distribute the load on your core muscles.
When lifting heavy objects, keep the weight close to your body. Reach from as short a distance as possible when lifting objects, and hold them close to your body when lifting to avoid unnecessary strain on the back and shoulders. When lifting, bend at the knees, not the hips. Lift using your arms and legs, never your back. When turning with a heavy object, avoid twisting the trunk. Instead, use your legs as a sturdy base by taking a wide stance, and turn your entire body rather than twisting.
When twisting and turning to reach those difficult areas, be aware of how you’re moving. Avoid stretching and straining to reach to dust, lift, and move objects. Use a stool or step ladder to reach things that are high up, and when bending down, bend with the knees rather than leaning over. If possible, use tools like long-handled dusters to reach difficult spaces.
Proper Vacuuming Stance
Vacuuming is a surprising source of back pain for many. When vacuuming, use your legs and arms to move the machine around, rather than bending forward and pushing. Stand as upright as possible, with your chest out slightly, and use your legs rather than your back to move around the room.
With some awareness of how you’re moving, you can avoid putting a strain on your back.
Contact Trident Pain Center to help alleviate your back pain.