Avoid Spring Cleaning Injuries

By: Dan Durham, Physical Therapist/Owner

Spring cleaning is the annual rite of passage for home owners that is often dreaded, but can never be neglected. But injury shouldn’t be the reason you’re not looking forward to it.

All of the bending, reaching and lifting that happens during spring cleaning could aggravate existing injuries, or open the door for fresh ones. Just like at the workplace, overexertion while repeatedly performing certain motions can lead to sprains, strains and lower back pain.

To avoid the spring cleaning aches and pains, follow these tips:

  • Warm up for about 10 minutes prior to doing any spring cleaning – light walking and stretching work great
  • Maintain good posture with a straight spine and a wide base of support – also, pay close attention to how you stand and reach
  • When lifting heavy loads:
    • Keep the object you’re lifting close to your body
    • Bend from the knees and lift using your legs, not your back
    • Avoid twisting or bending while lifting
  • Avoid bending too much by using a kneeling pad or stool, or tools with long handles, especially when doing yard work
  • Take breaks often and be sure to stay hydrated
  • If working on uneven ground, wear comfortable shoes with skid-resistant soles
  • If you have multiple tasks, switch it up every hour or so – avoid doing the same thing for too long
  • After a day of spring cleaning, cool down with some more stretching

Spring cleaning is a tough task that usually takes more than a day, and injuring yourself is a great way to draw it out longer than it has to be. However, if you do pick up a few aches and pains while working, contact us to schedule an appointment before you try finishing the job. Working while in pain can exacerbate any issue…and that will just ruin your summer.