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Avoiding Aches and Pains When Cleaning Your House

How to Clean Without Hurting Your Back

A persistent back problem can make keeping your home clean a challenge. When even the slightest movement can cause agonizing pain, it is all too easy to avoid it altogether. After all, why vacuum the floor when you are going to be unable to get out of bed the next morning?

Most people do not have the luxury of a housekeeper to do their cleaning for them and living in an unclean environment can become depressing. For these reasons, the cleaning still needs to be done. What you need to do is figure out how to get it done without triggering your back pain.

Let’s look at some basic household chores and how you should do them if you do not want your back to hurt afterward.

Vacuuming

For most people who battle with back pain, vacuuming is by far the worst household chore. It can cause muscle spasms and leave you writhing in agony. The regulation posture for vacuuming is standing in a hunched position. This stance is bad for your spine’s health. The spine is designed to be mostly upright. The curvature caused by bending over to vacuum can cause a lot of discomfort.

On the other hand, keeping your spine too rigid is also a problem. Hyper-extending your back like that can irritate the back joints and muscles, causing inflammation and pain.

To solve the problem of vacuuming, focus on your stance. You should stand like a fencer, with one foot placed slightly forward. This will allow you to move forward and backward during vacuuming without putting too much strain on your back.

You also need to make sure that the motion of vacuuming is small enough so as not to cause pain. Do not stretch beyond this point while vacuuming. It might take a bit longer to get the job done, but it will help you avoid pain.

Dusting and Polishing

For a lot of people with back pain, a lot of time spent on their feet can be painful. There is a lot of strain on the back when you are standing. The spine is keeping the body erect. Polishing and dusting require a lot of moving around, and you need to remain standing while you’re busy with it.

Make use of the hand and arm that are idle while you are polishing and dusting. Lean on the nearest sturdy surface and brace yourself by placing your hand on it. If you are bending over to reach a low surface, put your least dominant hand onto your thigh to help with supporting your back.

Sweeping

Whether you are sweeping indoors or outdoors, or you rake the fall leaves in your garden, the motion it requires strains the back. For a lot of people, it is worsened by the fact that they use their back to make the motion.

If you experience back pain from making a sweeping movement, the solution might be easier than you think. You will need to reteach yourself how to sweep. The motion should make use of your arms and legs more than your back.

Twisting around while you are sweeping should be avoided. It is tempting to stand in one place and sweep all around yourself. However, it is better for your back if you sweep in smaller strokes. Avoid overreach at all costs.

There are brooms and rakes designed specifically to ease the pressure on your back. The stick to which they are attached is bent to help you keep your back straight.

Cleaning the Bathroom

Use the same technique mentioned for sweeping when you mop your bathroom floor. In addition to the floor, you need to be able to clean the washstand, bath, shower and toilet. These tasks require a lot of bending over, which is very taxing on the back.

What you do depends on your back and what it can tolerate. It might be easier to brace yourself with your knees and the hand you are not using against the bathtub, basin and toilet. However, you should also experiment with kneeling down when working on lower surfaces.

Getting into and out of a kneeling position can be challenging if you struggle with your back. Take the process slowly and use the tub, toilet or washstand to pull yourself back up when you are finished.

Laundry

Loads of laundry are heavy when they are wet. Bending over to pick them up to take outside or transfer to the dryer can be hard on your back.

One of the easiest ways to ease the pain is to have a top loading machine instead of a front loading one. Have a higher surface to work on in your laundry room so that you do not have to pick the basket up from the floor.

When picking up heavy loads from the floor, always bend your knees to pick up and straighten them as you stand. It helps to take the strain off your back.

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