Finally, spring has sprung! After what seems like a very long winter we joyfully have some sun coming our way.. so it means two things, spring cleaning and gardening, writes Reading Chiropractor Zoë Lofthouse.
In this blog we will be concentrating on the good old spring clean. Now I won’t be able to give you any tips on how to get the best polish on your silver or how to achieve smear free windows. However, I might just be able to get you through a deep cleanse without the fear of upsetting your body and doing so in a spinally safe way.
Importantly don’t do things for too long. You know that after 45 minutes of elbow grease you will start to ache. So, stop after 20 minutes, have a 10-minute break and restart. It will stop you from fatiguing and doing too much. We want to avoid ‘the straw that broke the camels back’ situation. It’s also a brilliant excuse to have that well deserved cup of tea. Another way to avoid this is to change positions, particularly if you are stuck in one position ie. Washing up or ironing. It may be possible to do your ironing sitting or standing, rotate through these if you have a big pile to do. There’s no rule that everything has to be done at the work counter, but we find ourselves glued to it. Try chopping veg sitting at the table, or raising the washing up bowl out of the sink if it is too low.
Use a buddy! This will not only half the time that things get down it but will also save you from trying too hard. We are all aware of the struggles of putting a fitted sheet onto a heavy mattress or moving that thing that was just a tad too heavy. Rope in friends and family if you need to and don’t try too hard!
I know I said that I wouldn’t be giving any cleaning tips, but here is one- To get deep into the pile of your rugs and carpets the vacuum needs to be pulled slowly over the area to allow the vacuum to pick up the pile and properly remove all the dust and dirt. Most people will repeatedly go over the same area bending forwards, pushing out the arm and hoover then will pull the hoover backwards and stand up straight again. Over, and over, and over again… and we wonder why our backs hurt after hoovering!? My tip is to stand with the vacuum in front of you holding with both hands in the centre of you body, then (making sure there are not trip hazards) slowly walk backwards bringing the machine with you close to your body. This will ensure a happy carpet and a happy back.
Remember, any signs or symptoms of lower back pain, back ache, neck pain or leg pain when doing this kind of work may just be very temporary, as a result of not being used to that work. However, if these types of symptoms persist that is never normal, and we recommend that you get your spine checked out by us.
Bend those knees! Don’t bend forward from your back so you are stooped over, this puts a lot of pressure on your joints, ligaments and discs of your lower back. If something is lower down and you need to spend a period of time there its best to kneel with a pillow under your knees. If it is a job where you have to keep getting up and down its best to go into a lunge position, keep you back straight, lower yourself down an when you return to standing use your legs to push you up so you can keep the spine upright.. this is also a brilliant work out for you muscles!
For hard to reach places consider using a step ladder. Don’t over stretch or strain to reach those nooks and crannies! Keep moving to step ladder so you are within a sensible distance, and if you still can’t reach think about using a longer tool or implement to reach (even better get a friend to do it!).
Nearly all my simple hints and tips are relevant for both spring cleaning and gardening. The most important aspect of this is that we haven’t been in the garden as much recently, and now everything is growing ridiculously fast! The lawnmower is heavy, and hedges will need to be trimmed. We want you to avoid injury, or that ‘first game of the season’ feeling, so start slowly, keep taking breaks and build up your ‘gardening fitness‘.
After all that hard work let us spring clean your spine! We can check for pesky dust bunnies or old cobwebs! Our job is to asses to see how well your body is working and give it the appropriate shine and scrub up to keep you feeling great!…. so you can tackle the spring cleaning and gardening without fear..!
17 Church Road, Caversham, Reading, Berkshire RG4 7AA
Reflex Spinal Health are a passionate, dynamic spinal health team. We are committed to help as many in our community of Reading, Berkshire and South Oxfordshire to enjoy the vitality of great health, to reach their health goals and feel truly alive! Our chiropractors and osteopaths offer the highest standards of care in a superb environment.