Back and Neck Tips for Homeowners
By Dr. Nicklaus Barnes • Charleston Chiropractic Associates
Owning a home can come with a lot of unexpected tasks and projects that may take a huge strain on your body. Rather it be daily chores, gardening, replacing fixtures or even remodeling a whole room all these projects require extra physical effort. I want to give you 4 tips that will help you stay pain free while taking care of business around the house.
Tip #1: Remember to take breaks when doing long projects. By taking periodic 10–15-minute breaks this will give your muscles time to rest in between putting in those long hours into a project. In this break you can not only rest but also use this as time to stretch any muscles that are tight or fatigued. This will help your muscles recover quicker from tough jobs and leave you with less soreness the next day.
Tip #2: Make sure you lift from your legs and not your back. When working on your house it is important to not cut corners and make sure you get the job done right. This is also important with your lifting technique, so make sure you lift with your legs and not your back. Bending and twisting, especially at the same time, puts you at very high risk for back injuries and is one of the worst things you can do for your low back. Make sure you are being mindful of how you are lifting objects.
Tip #3: Using proper tools. It is amazing how easy a job can become when you are actually using the right tools. When preparing for a project make sure you have the right equipment to complete the task at hand. This could include not only power tools for heavy duty jobs but also could be as simple as having the right size ladder or the right gardening tool. When you use the tool that was made for the job this will lower your risk of injury and take more stress off of your body.
Tip #4: Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Self-awareness is one of the greatest virtues you can have! Part of this is knowing yourself and what you can handle but also knowing how big the project actually is. It can be very easy to underestimate how long home projects can take or how much work they can be. By “biting off more than you can chew” you tend to rush jobs and find yourself in unsafe and stressful positions putting you at higher risk for injury. The best way to avoid this is to be realistic about your abilities and the project.
Dr. Nicklaus Barnes is the owner and founder of Charleston Chiropractic Associates