Spring is finally here and for many people, the warm weather brings renewed motivation. While this often involves excitement over resuming outdoor activities, many people also find they’re motivated to do some spring cleaning and get their house in order before summer arrives.
While spring cleaning may seem like a relatively harmless activity, it can result in a variety of injuries if the proper precautions aren’t taken. The following tips will help reduce your risk of injury during spring cleaning.
It may seem silly to warm up before tackling spring cleaning chores, but this is an important precaution. Many of these tasks involve a lot of bending, and you’re likely to engage some muscles that aren’t used often. Doing some light stretching and other warmup activities will help you avoid common muscle strains associated with spring cleaning.
We recommend the following warmup routine anytime you spend time on spring cleaning chores:
Whether you’re cleaning and organizing the inside of your house or getting your yard in order, using proper body mechanics is critical to avoid injuries:
If you have a lot of spring cleaning tasks to do, it can make for a long and physically demanding day. A common reason people suffer spring cleaning injuries is because they overdo it and try to get everything done in one day. Going up and down stairs all day, reaching overhead to wipe down hard to reach shelves, carrying heavy objects, and scrubbing the house for hours on end will put a great deal of strain on your body. Spacing out these chores over several days or weeks will minimize the impact on your body.
In addition to spreading out your chores over multiple days, you should think about everything you’ll need for the task at hand prior to getting started. For example, if you’re cleaning out the basement, bring all cleaning supplies and an ample amount of trash bags down when you begin. This will help you avoid unnecessary trips up and down the stairs.
Always use the proper tools and equipment for the specific task you’re performing. If you’re cleaning and dusting in high areas, use a step ladder and a duster with a long handle to avoid overextending your muscles. In addition, use ergonomic tools whenever possible. This will reduce the stress on your muscles and joints.
If you experience any pain while working, take a break. While we all prefer to finish a job once we start it, this can potentially cause unnecessary harm. Often, fighting through pain can transform a minor issue into a larger one. If your body is telling you to stop and rest, always listen.
You don’t need to be a hero. Some tasks aren’t meant to be done alone. If you’re lifting very heavy furniture or moving bags of heavy mulch, you can potentially suffer a serious injury by doing it alone. If no one is around to help, consider waiting until someone is available or utilizing tools such as dollies or wheelbarrows to take the strain off your body.
Even when you take all the right precautions, spring cleaning injuries may still occur. In these situations, Colorado Advanced Orthopedics is here to help.
We offer a wide range of orthopedics services to address just about any injury you may have. In addition, our in-house physical therapy team can provide conservative treatment options to restore a pain free life in situations where more extensive procedures aren’t needed. Our team includes some of the most experienced, board-certified and fellowship trained orthopedic surgeons on the Western Slope, ensuring you’ll receive the exceptional treatment you deserve.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment. Colorado Advanced Orthopedics serves patients in Meeker and throughout the White River Valley.
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