Avoid Back Pain With Spring Cleaning
Contributed by Ira “Sam” Manalo, PT, DPT
Believe it or not, SPRING is almost here! With warmer weather on the horizon (hopefully), spring cleaning might be on your agenda. If you aren’t physically prepared to lift and move, you may develop low back pain. Before, you launch your cleaning efforts, follow these 5 Ls of proper lifting – it could be the difference between spring cleaning success or low back pain!
Test the weight of the object before you lift it. Tap or roll the object a few inches to assess the weight of the load. If you think it’s too heavy for you, ask for help!
Think about the lever arm of the load that you’re lifting. The closer the load is to your body (shorter lever arm), the less stress is placed on your back and vice versa.
Your low back has a natural curve called a lordosis. When you perform the lift, you want to maintain that natural curve and keep your back as straight as possible to reduce the stress on it. When lifting, engage your abdominal muscles as you lift to protect your back.
Legs are the most critical part of the 5 Ls of lifting. You’ve probably heard “Lift with your legs – not your back!” How do you lift with your legs? Utilize your lower body (knees and hips) to generate force and absorb the weight. Allow your core to stabilize and support.
Lungs refer to proper breathing when you lift. Do NOT hold your breath! You want to inhale before the lift and then exhale slowly as you perform the lift.
Aside from these 5 Ls of proper lifting, consider doing a few stretches to warm up and take frequent breaks when your muscles are tired and fatigue. As your muscles fatigue, your risk of injury increases.
We hope you stay safe and healthy this upcoming spring! However, if you do end up with aches and pains, please give us a call. Contact Sam in our York, PA location at 717.430.0770 to schedule an appointment. If you would like to contact a different Pivot location, please visit our locations page for additional details.
The quicker your aches and pains are addressed the quicker you can get back to pain-free spring cleaning!