Winter is coming, so it’s time to get all our ducks in a neat little row, ready to face the most inclement of seasons.
That means fall cleaning. Packing away the patio furniture, power washing the deck and getting the lawn seeded makes us feel the hatches are duly battened down. Achievement!
But fall cleaning can be demanding and that can lead to spine pain. So, this post is for all you over-achieving fall cleaners out there who insist on getting it all done over the weekend. We’re going to talk about ways to prevent spine pain during fall cleaning.
Get Your Body Ready
Even if you’ve been active all summer long and you exercise regularly, cleaning jobs are a different type of activity. Lifting, pushing and pulling are involved and if you’re not used to performing these actions on a regular basis, your body will be – surprised.
That’s why it’s important to warm your body up by stretching and moving around. Pay special attention to your shoulders, hamstrings, glutes and quadriceps, as these are the areas which are going to be doing the bulk of the work.
Technique Is Everything
I’ve mentioned lifting above. It’s the big one, when it comes to fall cleaning injuries. People tend not to think much about the way they lift heavy objects, resulting in injury to the spine.
I can’t say this often enough – lift with your legs. That is Rule #1 when it comes to emerging from a flurry of activity like fall cleaning unscathed.
And don’t twist while lifting. Taking small, flat-footed steps, moving the item into position slowly. If it’s an oversized item, get help. Don’t be a hero.
Ambition Is the Enemy
We all like to think of ourselves as highly efficient people. We like to get things done and then congratulate ourselves.
But that sense of mission is often at the heart of injuries. Segment your fall cleaning project into time periods. Set goals and then stop. Don’t push yourself when your body’s tired, as that’s when you’re most likely to injure yourself.
Whatever it is, it can wait. If you’re anxious about a sudden change in the weather, get the outdoor stuff done first, in order of urgency. Create a hierarchy of need and then, systematically cross chores off your list.
Pain is a message. It’s telling you something’s wrong. In the case of fall cleaning, it may be telling you that you’ve pushed yourself too far.
So, stay aware while you’re out there cleaning things up. Be alive to what your body is telling you and please don’t ignore its pain messages. They can be the harbingers of worse pain to follow.
Back & Body Medical
Back & Body is a multi-disciplinarian clinic in the heart of Manhattan, with one mission – to relieve pain.
If you’ve been pushing, pulling and lifting to get ready for winter and have perhaps gone a little too far, come talk to us. We’ll treat the root cause and get you straightened out. Contact us.