Spring has almost sprung! With the first day of spring coming up this week, I know lots of people will be doing that deep spring cleaning. With any activity that you haven’t done in a while, it’s important to make sure you’re keeping excellent form and using spine-sparing techniques in an attempt to avoid injury. Here are some tips to keep you feeling good while you’re busy cleaning out that garage and vacuuming in places you forgot existed!
Our bodies aren’t made to go from 0 to 100 with no preparation. Many of us tend to be less active in the winter and then want to immediately jump back into our previous level of activity. It’s important that you know your body’s limits and even start out on the cautious side. Every 30 minutes, stop, stretch, take a rest, drink some water and make sure your body is ready to continue the task before moving on.
KEEP A NEUTRAL SPINE
Cleaning that bathtub? It’s important to make sure we maintain the natural curve we have in our low back when bending/reaching over. The longer you stay in a flexed position through your lumbar spine, the more susceptible your back is to pain and discomfort.
Cleaning out those old boxes from the garage? Make sure you only lift what you can handle. As above, maintain that neutral spine. Bend from your knees and hips, not your back. Keep the load close to your body to have the centre of gravity stay as close to you as possible.
GET DIRECTLY BEHIND THAT MOP OR VACUUM
It’s easy to want to do some crazy twists and turns getting into those nooks and crannies with your mop or vacuum but in order to keep your back, neck and shoulders feeling good and comfortable, being directly behind the cleaning tool is the best. Keep your hips forward and square and position yourself in a slight lunge to keep your back from aching!
Have any other questions about keeping your body safe and comfortable during spring cleaning? Come on in to Lawrence Park Health Clinic and one of our excellent practitioners can help you out and answer your questions!
Author: Dr. Allie Dennis, B.Sc. Kin (Hons.), D.C., Acu, CSEP-CPT, SFMA
Toronto Chiropractor | Acupuncture Provider | Personal Trainer | SFMA Practitioner