This is a great time of year. The snow is leaving, the birds are returning, and it is time to start spending time outside. Growing up, my bossy wonderful aunts loved to include us cousins in the spring-cleaning chores. By include us, I mean they would point at something that needed cleaned and then they would go inside and do aunt stuff. If one of my aunts is reading this and getting offended, then I guess the truth hurts a little bit, doesn’t it?
Every year, I see a surge in patients that hurt themselves cleaning up for the warm weather ahead. These injuries can almost always be avoided. Here are a few tips:
- WARMUP AND START SLOW. You likely have not been lifting or moving a lot this winter, especially with the gyms and pools being closed for way too long. You know that you can not just start running without getting back in shape, and you hopefully wouldn’t walk into the gym and rack up your max weight and try to lift it. Chores around the house deserve the same reasonable approach. Start with lighter jobs and work your way toward heavier ones.
- TAKE SMALL BITES. Make the extra trip instead of trying to carry it all at one time. Take frequent breaks when doing jobs that require you to be bent over, that involve repetitive movements, or that put you in an awkward position. Don’t be a hero, or you’ll find yourself on the couch with an achy back.
- MAINTAIN GOOD POSTURE. So many chores inside and outside of the house can put you in a position that hard on your back, neck, knees or shoulders. As I mentioned above, being bent over, or doing repetitive back movements can cause injury. Your back is the only one you have, and those weeds will still be there after your break.
- TAKE BREAKS! Breaks will help you break up (ha! Get it?) your movements and will give your body a chance to recover. You can do other less physically demanding chores during the breaks to stay on schedule, and that would help keep you from cooling down and getting stiff.
As always, getting adjusted will help your body move better before you do physical work and will help prevent injuries. Getting adjusted after will help you recover and alleviate any aches or pains that you might have acquired from your hard work.