Not many people like doing housework. For most, it’s a real pain in the aaah … what’s the word? Sacroiliac. But it’s not just the disruption it causes to your longed-for life of leisure; it really can be a pain. Literally.
The activities you carry out around the house may not seem too physically demanding, but if you don’t pay attention to how you are doing them, even something like washing the dishes can put a strain on your back and cause debilitating pain.
One of the chief culprits in housework, and generally, is lifting. It doesn’t matter what you are picking up, if you do it incorrectly you can injure yourself. The correct approach is to bend at the knees, not from the waist. The item you’re picking up should be held close in to the body, and there should be no twisting, which can hurt the spine; if you want to turn in another direction, take a step that way once you have straightened up.
The American Chiropractic Association suggest the following do’s and don’ts for chores and relaxation:
- When you wash dishes, open the cabinet beneath the sink, bend one knee and put your foot on the shelf under the sink. Lean against the counter so some of your weight is supported in front.
- When ironing, raise one foot a bit. Place it on a small stool or a book to take some strain off your back.
- To vacuum, use a "fencer’s stance." Put all your weight on one foot, then step forward and back with the other foot as you push the vacuum forward and back. Use the back foot as a pivot when you turn.
- While talking on the phone, don’t cradle the phone between your ear and shoulder. That can lock up the spinal joints in the neck and upper back, and cause pain. Instead, hold the phone with your hand or use the speakerphone.
- While watching television or relaxing, don’t use the sofa arm as a pillow. The angle is much too sharp for your neck.
- Use a cold pack if your back begins to hurt. Wrap an ice pack in a towel moistened with warm water. The warmth gives way to gradual cold, which likely will alleviate the discomfort. (No ice? Try frozen veggies instead.)
If pain persists for more than a day or two or if you experience numbness, tingling or weakness in your arms or legs, see a doctor of chiropractic.
If you, a family member, friend or work colleague are suffering from the pain associated to work around the house be sure to give our office a call today to see how chiropractic care can benefit you.
For Your Health,
Dr. Ted Smith and