Completing housework and your other responsibilities without experiencing neck and back pain is often easier said than done. Between scrubbing the floors, carrying the laundry and cleaning up after the kids, there’s no shortage of opportunities for individuals to injure themselves around the household. However, there are ways to limit the chance of injury and subsequent neck or back pain if you’re careful.
Most of the aches and pains a person experiences after a full day of housework or yard work comes from muscle strain and inflammation. Overexertion tends to inflame muscles and tendons, which can lead to nerve compression and symptoms of traveling pain or discomfort known as radiculopathy. One of the best ways to reduce the risk of nerve inflammation is by treating housework like a workout. This means you need to take the time to stretch out your muscles and avoid overdoing your housework. Also, take frequent, short breaks and drink plenty of water.
A lot of housework also requires frequent lifting and bending, which puts a significant amount of stress on the spine – particularly in the lower back (lumbar spine). This is why it is extremely important to understand and exercise proper lifting technique:
- First and foremost – bend your knees
- Keep your shoulders, back and head straight
- Keep your feet apart at shoulder’s length
- Tighten your abdominal muscles
- Avoid twisting or bending when you lift
- Hold the object close to your body
- Lift slowly
By following these simple steps you can ensure your spine is aligned properly and reduce the chance of muscle strain.
In the event that you’ve completed your housework and you’re starting to feel neck or back pain, don’t worry too much. In most cases, pain will subside after a couple of days or will only require light conservative treatment (pain medication, heat packs, lifestyle changes, etc.). If your pain persists or has become debilitating, contact Laser Spine Institute to learn about our minimally invasive, outpatient procedures.