Spring Cleaning Tips For Avoid Back Strain
Ah, spring cleaning! Time to clean out the cupboards, the closets and the garage and scrub the house down. If you’re not careful, though, that unaccustomed exercise could leave you in back pain. The main cause of this pain is back strain.
The back is a complex structure consisting of bones, muscles, ligaments, cartilage, and tendons. A back strain is an injury to muscles and tendons. They may be overstretched or torn. Back strain often occurs in the lower back because it supports weight support and is heavily related to body movements.
Back strain is often confused with a sprain. They are two completely different concepts, but they have one thing in common: they interfere with human activities.
What is the main cause of back strains?
Back strain is caused by overuse and repetitive movements of the muscles and tendons. This is usually due to the following reasons:
- Car accidents, work accidents, sports injuries
- Lifting and carrying heavy objects
- Bending suddenly
- Acting in the wrong posture
In addition, people who are sedentary, obese, smoke a lot, or have weak back and abdominal muscles (physiologically) are more likely to have back strain.
What are the back strains symptoms?
Common symptoms include:
- Dull low back pain, which may be accompanied by a burning sensation, numbness and itching due to irritated nerves.
- The pain starts in the back, then can spread to the buttocks and legs.
- Sudden pain when coughing, sneezing, bending or stretching your back.
- Limited mobility, difficulty in walking, standing, bending over,…
Tips for avoiding back strain
- If you have to stand for long time, periodically lift one of your feet a little higher than the other one – perhaps by resting it on a ledge – and then alternate.
- Transfer your weight back and forth between your front and back feet while vacuuming. Your body weight propels the vacuum as you lunge. It’s also a good idea to switch hands occasionally to keep your muscles balanced, thereby reducing back strain.
- Don’t try to do everything in one day; spread your chores out through the week. and be sure to take plenty of breaks. Even if you’re simply doing a load of dishes after a party, you can split up the task to avoid aggravating your back. Do half the dishes and let them dry in the dish rack while you leave the rest soaking in hot, soapy water. You can get back to them later.
- Use good body mechanics.
- If you’re lifting a heavy object, bend from the knees, not from your waist. Be aware, however, that bending your knees doesn’t guarantee a safe lift. The important thing is to keep your back straight. How? That’s simple. Just bend your hips and push out your chest. A cautionary warning: a study of female health workers in Denmark revealed the women were 1.63 times more likely to develop back pain if they bent forward while lifting.
- Keep your elbows bent while lifting. By doing that, your arms and shoulders take the brunt of the weight, not your back.
- Hug the object you’re lifting as close to your body as possible.
- Don’t twist your torso. Face the object you are picking up. And if you need to set it down beside you, turn your body in that direction before you put it down.
- If an object is above your head, find a stepstool or a ladder before you try to move it.
Back strain treatment with Oakland and Alameda Chiropractors
If you live in Oakland, Alameda or the East Bay and are experiencing back pain, consider a visit to back pain chiropractic clinic – Symmetry Health Center. Dr. Boyd and her team are experts in Chiropractic BioPhysics (CBP), a method of correcting spinal misalignments – vertebrae that have shifted out of position – by remodeling and realigning the spine to restore normal nerve flow.
The team at Symmetry Health Center is among only a handful of Oakland, Alameda chiropractors trained in CBP, the most research- and results-oriented corrective chiropractic technique.
Take advantage of our no-charge consultation to determine whether you or a loved one is a candidate for care at Symmetry Health Center. Call 510-769-0125 for our location in Alameda and 510-654-2207 to reach our Oakland/Berkeley office.