Regardless of your feelings about seasonal efforts to tidy your home, the stretching and bending often associated with cleaning can take a toll on your spine. Spring cleaning tends to be especially challenging for your back because you’re likely tending to spots often skipped, so consider the following tips from The Spine Institute Center in Beverly Hills before diving into your cleaning endeavors as the temperatures climb.
Mind Your Posture
Proper posture isn’t just for the dinner table. Make an effort to keep your spine aligned correctly while dusting, scrubbing, sweeping and reaching. Improve your “cleaning posture” by:
- Aligning your back and shoulders as much as possible
- Changing positions while performing repetitive tasks
- Periodically stretching your back muscles
Lift with Your Legs
It may seem easier to just put your back into a lift when you need to move the sofa out of the way. However, doing so puts strain on muscles, joints and discs supporting your spine, sometimes to the point where serious injuries occur. If you need to do some lifting while spring cleaning, take the following steps:
- Bend at your knees
- Keep your back straight
- Avoid twisting while lifting
- Distribute the weight evenly
Get Rid of Unhealthy Foods
Add cleaning out the refrigerator and cupboards to your “to-do” list to get rid of unhealthy foods that could be undermining the health of your spine. If you intend to restock your fridge and cupboards after you’re done cleaning, consider the following nutrient-rich additions:
- Calcium-rich foods
- Green leafy vegetables
- Lean meats like pork and chicken
Know When to Seek Assistance
Whether it’s asking a few friends to pitch in or enlisting your kids and other family members, adding some helpers can make spring cleaning chores less strenuous on your spine. It’s also good to have someone around to help with the lifting and reaching.
A few aches and pains after a day of spring cleaning is normal and should go away naturally within a day or two. If, however, discomfort in your back area becomes increasingly worse, travels to your legs or comes on suddenly, see your doctor to be safe, especially if you have a history of back pain.
The Spine Institute Center for Spinal Restoration is a leading spine surgery center in Beverly Hills, CA, known for its team of experienced diagnosticians and orthopedic surgeons. To learn more about possible treatments for back pain, including both conservative options as well as minimally invasive spinal surgery, call (310) 828-7757 and schedule your in-person consultation.