People have been spending more time at home lately, doing more projects around the house. Home should be a safe place, but did you know that injuries around the house account for 20 million hospital trips in the U.S. each year (WebMD)? Despite this staggering statistic, 50% of Americans say they can’t think of anything they should do to prevent injuries.
- Use the proper tools. Make sure your mop handle comes to chest height, so you don’t have to bend over for prolonged periods when scrubbing your floor. Buy rakes and snow shovels that are the right size and weight for you. Getting the biggest, heaviest rake doesn’t get the job done faster if it leads to back strain. Before you buy, practice the motions in the store to see if it feels comfortable.
- Avoid twisting your body and bending at your hips to pick up objects. Lift even light objects with proper mechanics – square up to object, keep a straight spine with feet shoulder-width apart, bending your knees.
- Take breaks. Some tasks may take a significant amount of time. If you find yourself elbow-deep spring-cleaning your windows or painting, take breaks every 15 minutes. Do something else to give your shoulders a break from the motion.
- Cool down. Stretch any sore muscles. Apply ice for ten minutes if you develop pain, placing a thin cloth between the ice and your skin to prevent burns.
- Get it checked if you have pain that lasts more than two-three days. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
If you are experiencing pain with exercise or activity, contact us for a free physical therapy screening with Dr. Rolfing at our Onalaska Clinic. You’ll receive a professional assessment of your pain, and you can count on us to go the extra mile to get you back in motion. For more information, please call 608.781.2225.