Spring is an exciting time of year as the weather takes a turn for the better and we get a chance to spend more time outdoors. The warmer weather also makes it easier to tackle chores which have been on the back burner for the past few months, including DIY tasks.
Unfortunately, this surge in DIY activity often leads to an influx of patients visiting our chiropractors in Ealing with back pain. This occurs because many people aren’t physically capable of handling certain DIY tasks or don’t take the necessary precautions.
To help you avoid an injury this spring, this guide will share tips for back safe DIY activities. If you need to see a chiropractor in Ealing for more advice, give us a call on 020 8900 9004.
Tips For Back Safe DIY
#1 – Avoid carrying heavy loads whenever possible
DIY projects often involve carrying heavy objects like bags of cement, buckets of paint, boxes of tiles, and rolls of carpet. Unfortunately, these heavy items can be difficult to handle and can cause injuries which necessitate chiropractic treatment.
Do your best to limit the carrying of heavy items. So, instead of carrying a heavy box of tiles, open the box and carry the tiles in batches. Use equipment like trolleys, wheelbarrows, and carts to lighten your load. If you are having items delivered, have them placed close to the area where they will be used.
#2 – Avoid tight or restrictive clothing
Tight clothing can restrict your normal movements and force you to position your body in an awkward or unnatural way. Make sure you are wearing clothing that is comfortable and protects your body from excessive sun exposure.
#3 – Start with stretches
DIY tasks can require a lot of strength and flexibility. They can also involve repetitive movements which can strain muscles and ligaments. Prepare your body for this intense form of activity by performing a few stretches before you begin. Read this article to learn some stretches or book an appointment at our chiropractic clinic in Ealing to learn a great stretching routine which can be performed before any intense physical activity.
#4 – Use the right tools
It’s much easier to avoid DIY injuries if you have the appropriate equipment. Take painting a ceiling for example. If you have a large paint roller with an extended handle, you can hold your arms at belly height instead of over your head. This dramatically reduces the amount of pressure placed on your back, neck, and shoulders.
#5 – Be careful when using a ladder
Ladder injuries are a common reason for patients to visit our chiropractors in Ealing. The best way to use a ladder is to:
- Position it so it is directly in front of the object you are working on
- Keep your shoulders, hips, and knees pointed in the same direction
- Move the ladder frequently if you need to reach new areas
- Avoid reaching out too far
#6 – Take frequent breaks
DIY work is tough on the body, particularly if you haven’t been active throughout winter. You should ease into your DIY project and take frequent breaks to avoid repetitive strain injuries that affect the muscles or ligaments.
You can also vary your activities so you don’t strain a particular muscle group. So, instead of painting 3 ceilings in a row, paint one then go and work in the garden for half an hour. Stretching between each activity type can also be helpful as it reduces muscle strain.
#7 – Be mindful of your posture
Do your best to think about your posture as you work around the home. Focus on keeping your spine straight and engaging your muscles as much as possible. Avoid twisting your spine or placing your body into an unnatural position for long periods of time.
#8 – Seek out chiropractic care
If you have pre-existing back issues, have a chat with one of our Ealing chiropractors at The Spine & Joint Centre before you begin your DIY activities. They will be able to help you understand how much strain your body will tolerate without an injury occurring. They can also provide chiropractic treatments which deal with joint misalignments and reduce the risk of injury.
To book an appointment with one of our chiropractic team, call our clinic on 020 8900 9004.