Spring has sprung and many of us are cleaning our homes and reducing clutter within our living spaces. For many, spring cleaning is a rewarding task but can be limited by pain within the back, neck, shoulders, or knees. Adjusting the way you clean can reduce strain on the body and help you complete these tasks with greater comfort and ease.
- Lifting heavy objects, like furniture or boxes, can be taxing on the back if poor form is used. Remember to lift with the power coming from your legs, keeping your back straight and supported by your abdominal muscles. Keep the object close to your body to minimize the strain on the shoulders and arms. For very heavy or large, bulky objects, have a family member assist to reduce the weight lifted and to help with controlling the object through the lift.
- Repeatedly bending to pack/unpack boxes can be bothersome for the back. Place boxes on a table to allow you to work at a comfortable height. Work in batches to avoid having to lift very heavy boxes. Take breaks periodically to stretch and relax your muscles, especially if you have been cleaning for a while.
- Using shelving units can be helpful in storing items but take care when organizing. Heavy objects should be placed near or at the bottom of shelving units to avoid tip-overs due to top heavy loading. Lifting heavy objects above shoulder height should be minimized, as this could lead to injury.
- Remember to stretch before and after prolonged cleaning to reduce stiffness and to warm up/cool down to minimize muscle soreness. Staying hydrated during and after cleaning can also help with this.
- Be sure to follow all local restrictions on waste disposal, especially of chemical or electronic waste. Contact your local trash authority on instructions on how to dispose of these items. Recycle when possible.
If you are experiencing back, neck, or joint pain give us a call! Our expert physical therapists can help you feel better fast.
Eric Fontaine, PT, DPT
Check Out The Bethlehem Office