Back pain and chores go hand and hand, especially if you’re bending, stretching, lifting, and carrying something while crossing those chores off your “to-do” list. While there’s not much you can do to eliminate the need to do chores, there are steps you can take to reduce the risk of experiencing lingering aches and pains.
Shift Your Weight
Whether it’s putting clothes in the washing machine or doing the dishes, most household chores involve standing. By shifting your weight while standing, you’ll give parts of your back and related joints and muscles a much-deserved break.
Accept Your Limits
If you find yourself experiencing more back pain after a marathon day of cleaning, consider limiting how much you do each day. Doing so gives you a chance to get a good night’s sleep, which helps with muscle recovery.
Literally Lighten Your Load
Heavy vacuums and cumbersome mops are going to require more pushing and pulling motions likely to place added pressure on your back. Switching to lighter cleaning tools will literally lighten your load while still accomplishing the same goal.
Avoid Lifting with Your Back
Whether picking up toys off the floor or shoveling snow, lifting with your back increases the risk of pulling important back muscles. Either bring what you need to lift while doing chores close to your body before lifting or bend at the knees when picking something up.
Avoid the Temptation to Overload
While you may not want to make multiple trips upstairs to get the rest of the laundry, a few extra trips can save you a trip to the chiropractor or spine physician. To remind yourself to do this, use smaller bushels or divide up what you plan to carry into smaller piles.
Maintain Proper Posture
When running the vacuum, carrying groceries in the from the car, or trimming the hedges, maintaining proper posture keeps the spine in an alignment that evenly distributes weight and pressure. When doing dishes, place one foot on a step stool to keep from bending towards the sink. It may take some conscious effort at first, but good posture can become a habit over time–your back will thank you for the effort.
If chronic back pain is interfering with your daily responsibilities, it might be time to consider seeing a Beverly Hills spine surgeon at The Spine Institute Center for Spinal Restoration. As innovators and leaders in spinal surgery, our physicians can help diagnosis the cause of your back pain and find the treatment that will help you rediscover a pain-free lifestyle.