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Cruel Shoes: Are those fashionable shoes hurting your back?

February 1st, 2019
Cruel Shoes: Are those fashionable shoes hurting your back?

How can your footwear contribute to back pain?

How many people who suffer from back pain ever stop to think that the problem might be their shoes? What could connect the pain and fatigue in you lower back to the shoes on your feet? One answer lies in the concept known to sports trainers and medical professionals as a kinetic chain. Kinetic chain is an approach to understanding the transfers of weight and stress in the human body that was first introduced in 1875 by a mechanical engineer named Franz Releaux. In the mid-1990s the concept was updated and extended by Dr. Arthur Steindler. The kinetic chain is based on the idea that movement in one part of your body will affect other parts.

What’s that got to do with your aching back? And where does footwear come into it? It’s a matter of the effect of your leg position, your gait and your posture on your back. If you have ever done work that required standing still for long periods, you might have experienced pain or stiffness in your back depending on which shoes you wore. Even an activity as innocent as standing at the kitchen counter to slice vegetables can trigger uncomfortable lower back pain, if your shoes are sending stress up your leg, through the hips and into your spine.

A 2010 study of over 1000 Americans (using data collected in 2003 from subjects who wore pedometers) observes an average of 5117 daily. Men came in very slightly ahead of women, averaging 5340 steps a day compared with 4912.

What kinds of shoes are the worst for back pain?

Elevated heels

You might guess that high-heeled shoes have the potential to send painful impulses up your spine, and you’d be correct – the higher and narrower the heels, the greater the potential for back pain.

Men, before you gloat, look down – are you wearing dress shoes, or cowboy boots? Your heels may be shorter, but they are a potential source of back strain and pain. If you’re wearing lifts to be a little taller, are they heel-only (bad) or do they raise the foot from toe to heel (which can still affect your back by throwing you off-balance).

Anyone whose shoes elevate their heels an inch or more is getting this effect: the raised heels force you into a posture with arched back and slightly flexed knees. This in turn overworks our quadriceps muscles and reduces the length of your calf muscles, and could subject your kneecaps to 200% more than usual stress as you walk. The shifted muscle power and joint strain form a kinetic chain that rolls up your body to affect your spine.

Flats

At the other end of the shoe spectrum, you might think that ballet slippers, flats, loafers or flip-flop sandals would be a safe choice.

Too often, flats or fashion-trendy canvas sneaks are built with minimal support for the arch, and inadequate cushioning for the heel. There are lab tests that this can put as much as 25% more impact pressure with each step than you’d get from high heels. If you shop for flats shoes, choose shoes with cushioning and a measure of arch support

Flip Flops and Sandals

The greatest damage can come from thin, inexpensive flip flops. These have no cushion in the sole and no support for your toes. Your feet are much less stable in flip flops than you’d be in properly fitting sneakers. Flip flops and open-backed sandals make you bunch up your toes to keep them on your feet as you step ahead. Your steps are shorter, and the overcompensation puts stress on your hips, and spine. The lower body fatigue that results can trigger spasms of lower back pain.

What about those old Running Shoes?

Not necessarily a good choice; the support padding and cushioned sole were probably beneficial when you first got them. With use, however, the padding gets compressed, and the soles wear thin. If you wore them out by running, they’re not much good now for walking or standing.

Exercise Shoes

Rocker-soled exercise shoes, which feature a thicker than usual sole that rounds upward at the toe and heel, were sold on claims that they helped improve muscle tone. However, guidelines published by the UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence state that healthcare professionals should not recommend rocker shoes for people with lower back pain or sciatica. No studies of rocker shoes have demonstrated significant health benefits – worse, there are studies showing that wearing them can result in worsening anxiety and depression in people who have lower back pain.

What Kinds of Footwear Help Avoid Back Pain?

Look for shoes that support your arches well.

Running Shoes (newer ones!)

Many running shoes are specifically shaped to deal with your personal manifestation of the three main arch shapes: over-pronation (low), neutral, and excessive supination (high). These shoes also address motion control, stability and cushioning for your feet. So, instead of wearing your old, worn out shoes, a new pair could be useful.

Nursing Shoes

Far from the boxy white shoes of old school days, nursing shoes are now more fashionable looking, and they function more like sporting shoes than they once were. Not all sizes and types will be easy to find, so it might make sense to shop for your nursing shoes online. Check the return policy if you’re trying them out for the first time, in case you don’t like the fit, the style, or the performance.

Prescription Shoes and Orthotics

This can be an expensive way to go. Working with foot and orthopedic specialists, you can get a prescription for custom-fitted shoes that help align your feet, ankles, legs and hips – all the way up that kinetic chain.

A lower-cost option might be over-the-counter or individually-fitted orthotic inserts for your own shoes that help redistribute the stresses of standing and walking. Prescription orthotics are sometimes made of stiff materials such as graphite that are molded to fit your foot. Another variety, known as accommodative orthotics, are made of more yielding materials. These are more likely to be prescribed to relieve painful foot conditions than for back pain.

With every step, you have a chance to make things better for your spine. If you experience back pain, look to your footwear to help be sure your choices aren’t making things worse!


All information provided on this website is for information purposes only. Please see a healthcare professional for medical advice. If you are seeking this information in an emergency situation, please call 911 and seek emergency help.

All materials copyright © 2019 VoxMD.com, All Rights Reserved.


Low Back Pain in Athletes

January 25th, 2019
Low Back Pain in Atheletes

The lower aspect of our back is always under constant stress. This stress is significantly magnified in individuals who participate in athletics. As a result, it is not uncommon for these individuals to develop low back pain. In this article, we shall take a brief look at this clinical condition.

Causes of Low Back Pain

Muscle strain and sprained ligaments remain the most common cause of low back pain in athletes. With advancing age and repetitive stress, degeneration of the intervertebral discs and the vertebral bones can occur. Spondylolisthesis is yet another common phenomenon. Certain kinds of sports can cause stress fractures of the vertebrae, along with herniation of the intervertebral disc. Rarely, tumors of the spine or secondaries from cancer elsewhere can also be a cause.

Rarer causes include osteomyelitis and discitis, along with facet syndrome.

Risk Factors

Contrary to popular belief, it appears that having a short period of rest following a warm-up before commencing any form of athletic activity can have a detrimental effect on the muscles. It can result in stiffness and the limitation in overall flexibility. Ultimately, any form of activity that impacts the flexibility of the lumbar spine and alters the tone of the muscles around the spine can all result in low back pain in athletes. Furthermore, individuals who have previously suffered from back pain prior to commencing any form of activity are more prone to developing the symptoms.

Other risk factors that must be kept in mind include the type of footwear the person is wearing, their posture during exercise and the amount of rest that they take in between sessions.

Clinical Features

Athletes who suffer from low back pain tend to experience this at rest and during exercise, though the latter may be a lot more severe. The duration of pain and the type of pain depends upon what the cause is the first place. For example, pain experienced due to strains and pulled ligaments are often different from the ones experienced due to degenerative disc disease.

Athletes who suffer from spondylolysis (a type of stress fracture) find that the experience gets worse gradually and is associated with pain when participating in activities such as jumping and running that can place a great deal of impact on the lower spine.

Diagnosis

Most cases can be diagnosed from a clinical history and examination. Special investigation such as an X-ray or a CT scan may sometimes be required. In more advanced cases where disc prolapse or other degenerative conditions are being considered, an MRI scan may be helpful. Bone scans can help pick up any other lesions if present.

Treatment

Treatment of low back pain in athletes is primarily rest, ice pack application and physical therapy. Once the initial stage of the injury has been treated, patients will start a period of physical therapy which will involve not only stretches and strengthening exercises but also massage therapy and sometimes heat therapy. Over-the-counter painkillers such as paracetamol and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are also helpful in this situation. Activities that can trigger pain must be avoided.

In patients who have advanced disc disease or in whom medical therapy fails, surgical treatment may be required. This is often followed by a long parade of rehabilitation during which the athlete may not be able to participate in their regular activities.


All information provided on this website is for information purposes only. Please see a healthcare professional for medical advice. If you are seeking this information in an emergency situation, please call 911 and seek emergency help.

All materials copyright © 2019 VoxMD.com, All Rights Reserved.


Adult Scoliosis Overview

January 19th, 2019

What Is Adult Scoliosis?

spine

Scoliosis generally develops during childhood, but it also can occur in adults. Adult refers patients who have completed their growth (i.e., are over the age of 18 or have gone through puberty). Adult scoliosis is distinctive from childhood scoliosis in terms of the causes. In addition, the goals of treatment differ in skeletally mature patients.

Scoliosis is a musculoskeletal disorder that adversely affects the shape of the spine (backbone). The spine is composed of bones called vertebrae. Normally, when viewed from behind, these bones (vertebrae) run down the back in a straight line. There are normal (front-to-back) curves of the spine; however, scoliosis is a side-to-side curvature of the spine. Therefore, a scoliotic spine (when viewed from behind) will not be straight and may instead look like the letter "C" or "S", due to the side-to-side (right-to-left) curvature. Adult scoliosis is relatively common compared to other musculoskeletal diseases.

Types Of Adult Scoliosis

An abnormal curvature of the adult spine can occur at any age and from a variety of causes. Adult scoliosis can be the result of:

  • The progression of childhood scoliosis
  • Excessive wear and tear of the spine
  • Neuromuscular diseases
  • Previous spine surgery
  • Spine injuries (e.g., fractures)
  • Tumors in and/or around the spine
  • Infections of the spine

Adult scoliosis also can be divided into a number of different classifications:

  • Adult Idiopathic Scoliosis
    Idiopathic simply means of unknown origin; therefore, adult idiopathic scoliosis means that the exact cause of scoliosis is not known (i.e., there is no clear cause).
  • Adult Degenerative Scoliosis
    Adult degenerative scoliosis is caused by the combination of aging and wear & tear on the structures of the spine.
  • Post-surgical Deformity/Scoliosis
    Post-surgical deformity occurs as a result of previous surgery for scoliosis or spinal fusion. This is type of scoliosis is typically seen in patients who previously had long fusions of the spine.
  • Neuromuscular Scoliosis
    Neuromuscular scoliosis is caused by diseases that adversely affect nerve and muscle function. Muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, and polio are examples of neurological conditions that affect muscles and can lead to the development of scoliosis.

Adult Scoliosis Symptoms

Adolescents with scoliosis rarely have pain; however, adult patients with scoliosis often have with a variety of symptoms. These symptoms are typically due to degenerative changes in the adult spine. Adults can experience a gradual loss of function and a decrease in the ability to accomplish daily activities.

Potential symptoms and signs of adult scoliosis may include:

  • Backache or low-back pain
  • Pain in the legs
  • Early fatigue (muscles feel tired after standing or sitting)
  • Spine curves to one side
  • A hump may appear to be present on the back
  • Uneven hips &/or shoulders (one is higher than the other)

All information provided on this website is for information purposes only. Please see a healthcare professional for medical advice. If you are seeking this information in an emergency situation, please call 911 and seek emergency help.

All materials copyright © 2019 VoxMD.com, All Rights Reserved.


Which Nutrition Standard Should I Follow?

January 13th, 2019

Food Pyramid? MyPlate? Healthy Eating Plate? Which Nutrition Standard Should I Follow?

Over some 25 years, Americans have grown accustomed to the nutrition guide known as the Food Guide Pyramid, which seeks to illustrate the proportions of meat, vegetables, grains and beverages that make up a healthy diet. Through revision and eventual replacement by MyPlate, the Food Pyramid has stuck in the American imagination as the nutrition standard to follow.

The Food Guide Pyramid was first published by the US Department of Agriculture in 1992 and updated in 2005 as MyPyramid, a predecessor to MyPlate.

USDA created MyPlate in 2011, partially in response to critics who complained that the original pyramid arrangement was confusing, in part because the top of the pyramid showed the least healthy dietary elements. The simpler design of MyPlate – a round plate showing recommended portions of the different food groups as a pie chart – was certainly easier to make out, but it has yet to enter the national consciousness the way the Pyramid did. Also in 2011, the Harvard University School of Public Health released its Healthy Eating Plate infographic, intended to provide a healthier alternative to USDA’s MyPlate.

What is MyPlate?

MyPlate is a simple presentation of nutritional needs, intended to be more easily understood than the original pyramid. It’s not without critics – some say the protein and dairy sections are unnecessary as the same nutrients are available in other dietary sources. The head of the Harvard School of Public Health, Walter Willett, was quoted as saying that MyPlate, “mixes science with the influence of powerful agricultural interests, which is not the recipe for healthy eating."

What is the Healthy Eating Plate?

Harvard’s Healthy Eating Plate was created as an update and refinement to MyPlate, using the latest scientific data on portions, fats, carbohydrates, proteins, and other dietary elements. Also, unlike MyPlate and MyPyramid, HSPS designed the Healthy Eating Plate to be free influence from food industry lobbyists.

Healthy Eating Plate and MyPlate Compared

MyPlate serves as a good basic guideline, helping people make heathy nutritional choices, by recommending more vegetables, for example. However, compared to the more extensive Healthy Eating Plate it places less focus on necessary nutrients and dietary needs.

Harvard’s Healthy Eating Plate is certainly more detailed. If you are willing to delve deeper into healthy eating habits and a well-balanced diet, then the Healthy Eating Plate is for you.

The Healthy Eating Plate has inspired some controversy, drawing critics for the emphasis placed on cooking oils and for categorizing coffee and tea with water. Another point of contention is the exclusion of potatoes from the diet.

In general, MyPlate offers a simple and easy-to-adopt approach to a healthy, well-balanced diet. Besides recommending physical activity, the Healthy Eating Plate suggests a higher ratio of vegetables to fruit, and ranks healthy proteins and whole grains as equal quarters of your diet, among other differences.

To conclude, following either MyPlate or Healthy Eating Plate guidelines would be a significant improvement over an undisciplined, fast-food-centered diet. The best course for many people is to learn the basics of well-balanced nutrition habits, and follow whatever combination of diet recommendations helps them stick to the plan.


All information provided on this website is for information purposes only. Please see a healthcare professional for medical advice. If you are seeking this information in an emergency situation, please call 911 and seek emergency help.

All materials copyright © 2019 VoxMD.com, All Rights Reserved.


How To Destroy Your Spine – Part 1

January 7th, 2019

How to Destroy Your Spine

Stepping on cracks won't really break anyone's back, but lifting wrong will. A lot of back problems can be prevented. In this series, we'll take a look at some of the ways you may be hurting your back everyday, starting with incorrect lifting.

You've heard it before or you've seen the safety posters, but it really is true. If you lift something incorrectly, you can destroy your spine. Here's how:

1. Bending and Twisting While Lifting

When you lift something, the weight you pick up is distributed to your body. When you lift something incorrectly, the weight is sent to areas that can't take the extra pressure. Bending down at the waist to pick something up directs the weight of the object straight to your spine. This alone can lead to back strain and disc problems, but twisting your back while lifting can cause disc herniation and can accelerate degeneration of your spine. Degeneration occurs naturally as we get older, but lifting incorrectly could give you the back of a person decades older than you.

The best way to avoid destroying your spine is to pay attention to those safety posters. Before you lift something, determine if it's too heavy for you to lift alone, and if it is, always find someone else to help you lift the object. Whenever possible, use dollys, carts, or other devices that are made to carry heavy objects. When lifting, bend at the knees in a squat as close to the object as you can. Keep your neck and back straight and lift by using your legs. You'll find that lifting is not only easier this way but safer, too.


All information provided on this website is for information purposes only. Please see a healthcare professional for medical advice. If you are seeking this information in an emergency situation, please call 911 and seek emergency help.

All materials copyright © 2019 VoxMD.com, All Rights Reserved.


Is My Diet Causing Back Pain

January 1st, 2019

Is My Diet Causing Back Pain?

Many factors can cause chronic back pain. These range from inherited conditions to degenerative disc disease, to repetitive strain, to trauma-induced damage from a fall, a sports injury, or a car accident.

While the initial cause may be beyond your control, studies show you can help. If you maintain a healthy weight, stay fit and active, and – pain permitting – engage in training and stretching routines like yoga, you can improve your overall health and avoid further injury or worsening pain.

But What About Diet?

Recent reports suggest that foods that cause an inflammatory response in the digestive organs can spread inflammation to the joints, which potentially can cause instability and back pain. Authorities ranging from the Arthritis Foundation to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have stated that modifications to your diet may help avoid this inflammation domino effect.

Avoid These Foods & Help Yourself Avoid Back Pain

  • Processed foods, from hot dogs to microwave meals to 'nutrition' bars that are in reality high in sugar or high-fructose corn syrup
  • Carbonated sodas, both regular and diet
  • Vegetable shortening
  • Margarine
  • Trans fats
  • Foods high in saturated fat: bacon, sausage, many vegetable oils
  • Artificial sugars

Foods That May Help With Back Pain

Here's a list of foods, herbs, and seasonings that may help you lower the risk of inflammation, and with a sensible diet and adequate exercise, achieve a less-painful life style:

  • Magnesium-rich foods: salmon, spinach, eggplant and bananas
  • Albacore white tuna and other fish (packed in water, not vegetable oil)
  • Canned sardines
  • Ginger
  • Turmeric
  • Black pepper (aids absorption)
  • Garlic
  • Rosemary
  • Basil
  • Fresh fennel
  • Almonds, pecans and other nuts
  • Pomegranate
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Rice
  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Green tea
  • Onions
  • Olive oil

All information provided on this website is for information purposes only. Please see a healthcare professional for medical advice. If you are seeking this information in an emergency situation, please call 911 and seek emergency help.

All materials copyright © 2019 VoxMD.com, All Rights Reserved.


Sacroiliitis

December 21st, 2018

Sacroiliitis

Sacroiliitis

What is Sacroiliitis?

Sacroiliitis is a condition in which there is inflammation of one or both of the sacroiliac, or SI, joints. The two SI joints are where the upper and lower body meet. Specifically, the SI joints are where the lower portion of the spine connects to the pelvis. The primary function of the SI joints are to transfer weight from the upper body to the lower body.

What causes Sacroiliitis?

Sacroiliitis may be caused by trauma or injury, like car accidents or falls that result in damage to the sacroiliac joint. Pregnancy can also cause sacroiliitis, as the sacroiliac joints stretch and loosen in preparation for childbirth. Other causes of sacroiliitis may include infection or arthritis. Types of arthritis in the sacroiliac joint commonly include osteoarthritis and ankylosing spondylitis.

Symptoms and Diagnosis

Symptoms of sacroiliitis commonly include pain in the low back, buttocks, or groin. This pain may extend down the legs and into the feet. This pain can be aggravated by extended periods of standing or by climbing stairs. This condition may be difficult to diagnose, as it can be difficult to distinguish from other types of back pain.

How is Sacroiliitis treated?

Treatment options for sacroiliitis are usually conservative in nature. Medication may be prescribed to help reduce inflammation. Your doctor may also prescribe rest, activity modification, physical therapy, or injections.


All information provided on this website is for information purposes only. Please see a healthcare professional for medical advice. If you are seeking this information in an emergency situation, please call 911 and seek emergency help.

All materials copyright © 2019 VoxMD.com, All Rights Reserved.


Chicken Baked with Herbs, Potatoes, Carrots and Grape Tomatoes

December 16th, 2018
Chicken Baked with Herbs, Potatoes, Carrots and Grape Tomatoes

So flavorful, so filling and so easy to prepare. Heat up the oven while you cut up the vegetables, and your complete chicken dinner will be ready for the table in under an hour.

Ingredients

  • 1 3 to 4-pound chicken, cut up, or 3 to 4 pounds chicken thighs, bone-in, skin-on
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves (from about 2 sprigs)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 small dried red chilis, crumbled, or 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 to 3 pounds large Yukon Gold potatoes, cut in large pieces
  • 5 carrots cut in 2" slices
  • 12 ounces cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1 large yellow onion, quartered and thickly sliced
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 4 to 6 sprigs fresh basil, plus 2 tablespoons finely shredded leaves for garnish

Directions:

  1. Pull any lumps of fat off the chicken pieces and discard. In a bowl or a sealable plastic bag, combine the chicken pieces, 1/8 cup of the olive oil, 1/2 tablespoon of the rosemary, 1/2 teaspoons salt, ½ teaspoon pepper and the chilis. Mix well and set aside to marinate, at least 30 minutes at room temperature or up to 8 hours in the refrigerator.
  2. Heat oven to 450 degrees. In a 9-by-13-inch baking dish or a large ovenproof skillet with a lid, combine remaining olive oil and rosemary with the potatoes, tomatoes, onion, garlic and a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper. Toss together and spread out evenly in the pan. Arrange chicken pieces on top, skin side up. Add the wine, pouring around the edges of the pan, and place the basil sprigs on top. Cover tightly with aluminum foil or a lid and bake 30 minutes.
  3. Remove chicken from the oven and turn the oven temperature to 475 degrees. (Use the convection feature if you have it.) Or heat the broiler and arrange oven rack about 8 inches from the heat. Return uncovered pan to oven and cook until chicken skin is browned, cooking liquid is reduced and vegetables are very soft, 10 to 15 minutes more.
  4. Remove and discard basil sprigs. Garnish with shredded basil and serve immediately.

All information provided on this website is for information purposes only. Please see a healthcare professional for medical advice. If you are seeking this information in an emergency situation, please call 911 and seek emergency help.

All materials copyright © 2019 VoxMD.com, All Rights Reserved.


6 Herbal Remedies for Pain Relief

December 11th, 2018

6 Herbal Remedies for Pain Relief

Herbal medicine provides alternatives to drugs for pain management. Herbal remedies are being found to lower pain levels and decrease inflammation. This finding is most welcome, considering potential side effects of many pharmaceutical pain killers.

However, just like traditional pain relievers, herbal remedies also have their down sides. These include unwanted side effects like allergic reactions and possible complications with other substances and medicines.

Searching the internet, you are bound to find many herbal remedy treatments. It is important to take all of this information with a grain of salt. What may work for some, may not work for others. Before taking anyone’s word for it, be sure to do your own research and consult your health-care professional. That disclaimer delivered, here are some popular, recommended herbal medicines.

  1. Wintergreen Essential Oil. A natural pain reliever used in muscle ache creams.
  2. Capsaicin, also sold as Capsicum. Found in hot chili peppers, this natural remedy temporarily desensitizes nerve responders which cause the pain response. It shows promise in reducing back pain and fibromyalgia when applied to the skin, and can provide relief for migraines and cluster headaches.
  3. Ginger is one of the most popular herbal remedies. Its antioxidants can help with joint and muscle pain with very few side effects when taken in small doses.
  4. Feverfew is an herbal remedy with many different uses, including treating headaches, migraines, rheumatoid arthritis, stomachaches, and toothaches. Slight side effects include canker sores and irritation of the tongue and lips. Pregnant women should not use this herbal remedy.
  5. Cranberry juice is considered a great pain reliever for ulcerative colitis. Cranberry juice can kill the pain causing pathogens that attack the lining of your stomach and small intestines.
  6. Devil’s Claw. Don’t let the name fool you. It is a blessing in disguise for people with heartburn and liver problems. It can also reduce pain from conditions like arthritis, headaches, and lower back pain.

All information provided on this website is for information purposes only. Please see a healthcare professional for medical advice. If you are seeking this information in an emergency situation, please call 911 and seek emergency help.

All materials copyright © 2019 VoxMD.com, All Rights Reserved.


Spring Cleaning Without Back Pain

December 6th, 2018

Everyone wants a clean, neat, and organized house this spring. To take care of all your spring cleaning chores without having back pain, follow the simple tips presented in this post.

Cleaning can stress and strain the muscles, ligaments, and tendons of the back. Cleaning improperly or spending too much time cleaning can oftentimes lead to back pain. In some cases, back pain goes away on its own or is easily treated using rest and anti-inflammatory medications. In others, pain may persist and require treatment by an orthopedic specialist. While more treatment options than ever are available, the best way to avoid back pain is to prevent it from occurring in the first place.

General Rules of Thumb When Cleaning

Before discussing specific cleaning chores, it’s important to go over some general rules of thumb that you can quickly and easily implement into your cleaning routine. These rules of thumb include the following:

  1. Break it up. Trying to do all your chores at once can oftentimes be more than your back can handle. Spreading your chores out over the course of a few days is much better for your back. If it helps, you can create a cleaning calendar that evenly distributes your chores and matches your daily/weekly work schedule and routine.
  2. Take breaks. Taking frequent short breaks (even when you’re not in pain) gives your back and other musculoskeletal structures time to rest and regain their strength. Often times, stopping for just a few minutes over the course of cleaning session can be the difference in experiencing pain or feeling great after your session.
  3. Stop if it hurts. Try not to push yourself. If your back hurts while you’re doing a specific chore, stop that chore and take a break. Asking a family member or friend to help with a chore that is painful for you to do is always a good idea.
  4. Purchase good appliances. When possible, buy appliances that help reduce your workload. Such appliances include electronic vacuums, heavy duty mops and brooms, heavy duty brushes, long handle dusters, and more. If you’re looking for something specific, sales representatives at your local cleaning supply store can be a great resource.
  5. Purchase good cleaning products. Good cleaning products will help you do more work in a shorter period of time. Top quality cleaning products are easily available and fairly priced.

It’s recommended that you experiment with your routine to find out what works best for you. Additionally, it’s important that you take a few precautionary measures when performing specific chores.

When vacuuming, mopping, raking, or shoveling - Stand up tall and try not to lean over. Keep the appliance or object as close to you as possible. These measures will help keep your spine straight and will take pressure off your muscles, ligaments, and tendons.

When doing dishes and laundry - Leaning over and reaching deep down into the sink or laundry machine can overstretch your back muscles. Avoiding this is a two-step process: (1) place your dishes/clothes in a large tub or container next to your sink/laundry machine (2) Transfer dishes/clothes one at a time into the sink/laundry machine.

When straightening up - Always lift objects by bending at the knees and not the waist. If an object is too heavy for you to lift, ask a family member or friend for help.

If Back Pain Presents

If back pain presents while or after a cleaning session, you should stop what you’re doing and rest. Over-the-counter pain and/or anti-inflammatory medications can be used to help you. Pain that does not go away on its own or increases in severity should be seen by an orthopedic specialist.

Conclusion

Follow the rules of thumb and precautionary measures outlined in this post to help you stay pain-free while cleaning this spring. Take the time to experiment with your cleaning routine to see what works best for you. If you do this, you can rest easy and relax in your clean home.


All information provided on this website is for information purposes only. Please see a healthcare professional for medical advice. If you are seeking this information in an emergency situation, please call 911 and seek emergency help.

All materials copyright © 2019 VoxMD.com, All Rights Reserved.