We’ve all been there…
The hoovering, cleaning, washing need to get done…
And we do too much and overload our back, causing mild or severe back pain.
What if this didn’t have to be the case?
We see this so often in the clinic and when we advise people how to use their body to the best of its ability, they can often prevent back pain.
Let’s start with the common misconception that often leads to your back getting overloaded.
Your back doesn’t need to be straight
We’ve been told for so many years/decades about avoiding slouching and bending our backs to protect them.
What if this was fuelling the fire and causing more strain to be placed on your back. We see that this is often the case.
Your back is meant to bend so letting it bend is OK.
This is what the latest research shows. However, it is difficult to let go of these old habits, but awareness is the first step. That is the purpose of this blog.
So if keeping our back straight isn’t important, what do you need to do?
The key is to use your legs
Concentrating on keeping your back straight often shifts the focus from using our legs.
Our backs often just get overloaded because the position we put our body in, doesn’t allow us to be able to effectively use our legs.
Therefore, using good positions to use your legs and minimise the strain on your back will reduce your chances of getting back pain.
The whole concept of this good position is using one leg in front of your body to take the strain away from your back.
Let’s take hoovering for example. Most people often have their legs close together, with a little knee bend and lean their body forward. This position places most of the strain onto our back. Simply spreading your legs apart (front to back), using a mini-lunge position and maintaining a more upright torso position will take the strain from your back to your legs. This will not only reduce the chances of having a flare up in your back, but it will also help strengthen your legs.
Have a watch of the video below for a more in depth explanation of this and with the examples of other household tasks such as changing the bed sheets and lifting.
Lastly...Don’t do everything at once
When we get in the cleaning mood we often try to do all the jobs at once.
Even if you take onboard all of the above advice, your body will only be able to handle a certain amount of strain.
So try not to do every job at the one time.
As hilariously bizarre this whole blog from a young lad telling people how to clean their house may seem, do not underestimate the power of this advice.
Oftentimes it’s the most simple things that can make the biggest effect!
Give it a try and let us know how you get on.