Spring is a most anticipated season where people plan to execute a lot of work throughout the house, commonly called “Spring Cleaning”. The work includes things such as deep cleaning cupboards and ovens, cleaning out the gutters, clearing weeds, maintaining their garden as well as other household activities, both inside and out. Unfortunately, some of these activities can take a toll on the lumbar spine or lower back.
If you aren’t working out regularly and keeping core muscles toned, then there is a chance of hurting your lower back during spring cleaning. Its analogous to shovelling in the winter. Your body simply may not be used to the motions yet and instead of just getting sore, a muscle can pull or a disc can herniate. Below we discuss a few techniques that should be taken into account before this year’s spring cleaning.
Be conscious of lifting things
- The spine can easily get injured by one improper lift.
- Learn how to lift the right way. It is always better to bend at the knees, rather than hinging at the waist which only stresses the lower back.
- Be cautious of not just bending forward (flexion) but Bending and Rotation. This is usually the culprit.
- Use your legs to do the lifting work not your spine. The spine stabilizes.
- Hold or carry heavy items close to your body or inside your base of support. Avoid twisting while carrying a heavy load.
- If it is a very large, heavy item like furniture, always have someone help you.
- Never lift a heavy object above shoulder level unless trained and have a spotter.
Do some stretches before starting
- Stretching is a type of physical exercise that helps elongate muscles and push blood around. Similarly, to wringing a towel. Blood is squeezed out of the muscle then rushes back in. Stretching improves the muscle’s elasticity.
- Stretching increases the muscle neural control, flexibility, and the joints range of motion. Stretching increases heat in your muscles which help prepare them to get ready for your spring cleaning activities.
- Long Stretching sessions are also known to relax not only the body but along with proper breathing it can relax the mind.
- Organize your stretching exercise from your head and neck and work your way down through your spine and feet.
- Stretching can be both static and dynamic. Dynamic before spring cleaning and static post spring cleaning. Ignoring stretching may predispose you to muscle tears and disc issues.
Plan the work wisely
- If it is a big job you want to accomplish then think of splitting the work to different days. Too much in one day may not be the best for a body that is not fit.
- Don’t rush to complete tasks. Try to zen it. Just take your time, you’ll be happier in the end and so will your back.
- Follow a plan to help you stay on track. Take breaks frequently so you don’t wear yourself out.
- If your back starts talking to you, that may mean and injury is about to happen if it didn’t already. Immediately take a short break, stretch and ice it. Get back to the work later.
- Don’t forget to drink lots of water and stay hydrated.
Fifth Avenue is wishing everyone a safe and effective spring cleaning. Take care of your health and remember—Keep you mind sound, your spirit soaring and your body toned with Fifth Avenue!
About Fifth Avenue
Fifth Avenue Physical Therapy and Wellness was created at the onset of the new millennium in order to bridge the gap between strength and conditioning and rehabilitation. We have 2 clinics in New York (Grand Central & The Hamptons) and provide care to everyone at a level that Olympic athletes receive. The services we offer are physical therapy, acupuncture, yoga, massage and more.
If you’re looking to build yourself up as an athlete, why not take personal training from us? Where better to train than a place that has built up professional athletes to the highest degree.
If you’re in pain and need help or looking for a service we can provide for you and you’re in New York, then please contact us on 212-529-5700. Or you can fill in your details on our contact page and we will get back to you.