Reaching out and stretching to clean the windows, sliding around the floor scrubbing the tiles, or catching that dust in the corner whilst vacuum cleaning: daily housework requires a high degree of mobility. You can protect yourself against a slipped disc or lumbago by training your back. When your back muscles are not strong enough, all movements should be ergonomic when performing the housework. By bending down or twisting carelessly, you can strain your back and risk further problems.
LIFTING AND BENDING DOWN PROPERLY: CONSCIOUS AND CONTROLLED MOVEMENTS
Bending down and carrying heavy objects are bad for the spine – it can cause problems in the lower back. But if you consider the following tips, then picking up a heavy bucket of water or reaching nooks & crannies will no longer be a problem.
1. Picking up things from the floor or cleaning corners: Always get on your knees! When cleaning on your knees, always position your feet first, place one hand on your front leg, keep your back straight and bend your knees instead of your spine in order to reach lower down.
2. Carrying heavy objects – for example beverage crates or cleaning buckets: Lifting objects properly is the most important thing here: stand close to the object, lower yourself down using your knees, bend forward with a straight back in an upright posture and move your bottom backwards. Pull in your belly button (in the direction of your spine), tense your pelvic floor muscles, then straighten your knees and lift the object. Carry the item with a straight posture, close to your body and at pelvic height. Avoid making a hollow back. Do not initiate changes in any direction jerkily with your torso, but with the whole body by repositioning your feet.
3. Using household appliances: be mindful of ergonomics: Not every household appliance is easy on your back. Vacuum cleaners like the Kobold VK200 upright vacuum cleaner are easy to use with a straight back, due to their telescopic pole and control switch at grip-height.
4. Clean surfaces properly: if possible, adjust kitchen worktops to your height! When cleaning surfaces, not only is standing upright important, but also the positioning of your feet. You can protect your back by standing in front of a piece of furniture and cleaning this in small movements, without bending to the left or right.
Pay attention: sometimes back pain can actually be kidney pain. The kidneys lie behind the spine, on the right and left hand side of your torso. An important distinguishing feature is, kidney pain is not affected by body movements, it occurs from time to time and can have a dull feeling.