Cleaning is one of those unavoidable domestic tasks which most of us perform a few times each week. Some people enjoy it, while others hate it. But there is one thing for certain, cleaning your home isn’t much fun if you sustain an injury during the process.
In the past couple of months, several clients visiting The Spine & Jpint Centre, our chiropractic clinic in Ealing., have mentioned they sustained an injury after cleaning their home. These injuries have included strained back muscles, sore shoulders, and aching knee joints.
As these patients discovered, cleaning may be a riskier activity than many people may imagine if done improperly. It may even result in an injury which prompts a visit to our chiropractic clinic. Fortunately, there are several steps to make cleaning safer, which our Ealing chiropractor will share in this post.
#1 – Warm up before getting started
Prepare your body for housework by warming up. Start by performing a brisk walk around your home to get the blood flowing, wake up your muscles, and warm up the joints.
As you walk, make a mental note of what needs to be done during your cleaning session. You might walk through the bedroom and notice a few cobwebs in the corners of the ceiling or a pile of clothes that needs to go into the wash.
You can pick up objects that don’t belong in a certain area as you walk. However, avoid bending over repeatedly or picking up heavy objects for the time being. After 10 to 15 minutes of walking, perform some stretches that target the back, shoulders and neck.
Although you may think warming up for housework is a little excessive, it can greatly reduce the risk of an injury. Another great benefit of using this technique is that you are adding more exercise to your day which can deliver excellent improvements to your health.
#2 – Take regular breaks
Many of the people who end up visiting our clinic with a housework-related injury happily label themselves “clean freaks”. They enjoy cleaning and will spend many hours making every surface in the house clean enough to eat off.
While being a clean freak is an admirable trait, it can take a toll on your body. Placing your body into awkward or painful positions for hours can cause a variety of problems, ranging from muscles strains through to joint inflammation.
Make an effort to have regular breaks during your cleaning sessions. Set a timer on your phone to ring every 30 minutes or so. When it goes off, relax for 5-10 minutes by stretching, reading a book, or having a cup of tea. These small breaks will prevent the common overuse injuries which often necessitate chiropractic care.
#3 – Break up heavy loads
Carrying heavy objects around the home is a common source of injury amongst patients visiting our chiropractic clinic. One of the easiest ways to avoid these kinds of injuries is by breaking up loads.
Instead of carrying an overloaded washing basket to the laundry in one go, use two trips. If you are moving shopping or boxes containing other objects, split the load and take more trips. Although it might take an extra minute or two to get the job done, you can reduce your risk of sustaining a painful injury.
#4 – Concentrate on posture
Tasks like mopping and vacuuming can involve a lot of bending and twisting. As you perform these tasks, avoid the temptation to reach out or lean forward. Instead, keep the mop or vacuum close to your body and move your feet backwards and forwards as you clean. This lets you keep a straight posture that reduces the amount of strain on your back.
#5 – Change between tasks
Muscles strains and injuries often occur when a person is performing the same kind of task for a long period. After all, if you spend an hour scrubbing the bathroom floor on your hands and knees or while bending, it may well result in a sore back.
Avoid this issue by regularly changing between tasks. Instead of vacuuming the entire house at one time, do one room at a time, and take a break between rooms. Instead of making all of the beds, make one and come back to do the others later. Mixing up the types of tasks being performed and the way that you are using your body will avoid repetitive use injuries.
#6 – Lift objects correctly
If your house work involves lifting heavy objects, pay close attention to your lifting technique. To lift heavy objects safely:
- Stand close to the object with your feet about shoulder-width apart for stability
- Crouch using your legs while keeping your back as straight as possible
- Hold the object close to your body as you straighten your legs
If the object is unwieldy or very heavy, get help. This will help you avoid a back injury that requires chiropractic care.
In Pain? Why Not Visit One of Our Chiropractors In Ealing?
If you are suffering from back pain or other aches and pains after your household chores, our experienced team of chiropractors at the Spine & Joint Centre in Ealing are here to help you. Call 020 8900 9004 to book your appointment.