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Have a back problem? Use these four tips and do your chores without hurting your back

by , 06 August 2013

Having a sciatica problem (back pain) interferes with daily activities. Things you once took for granted like washing the dishes, doing laundry or even making your bed can be a challenge when you're in pain. But, making some relatively simple adjustments to your routines can make a world of difference in your quality of life. Here are four tips you can use to do household chores safely without hurting your back.

According to says Chet Cunningham author of The Sciatica Report, sciatica is often the result of bad back management, poor posture and years of misuse of your back through lifting objects the wrong way, bad sitting and standing posture and even lying down the wrong way.

The pain can make doing ordinary jobs around your house, unbearable. After all, many of these activities require a lot of lifting, bending and repetitive movements.

Luckily, there are ways to do these chores safely, without hurting your back.

Use these four tips to avoid back pain when doing household chores

Tip#1: Dishes

If you wash dishes by hand at your house, try this. Before starting, open the cupboard door below the sink. As you start washing, lift one foot up and put it on the six centimetre raised bottom of that cupboard.

This’ll help level your pelvis and reduce strain. You may also want to tense your buttock muscles and push your pelvis level and firmly against the counter.

Tip#2: Making the bed

Making the bed is a back breaker. Be sure to avoid slumping or arching your back when you make your bed.

A good tip is to drop a pillow at the corner of the bed, kneel on it and smooth out the sheets and blankets while kneeling. It makes it a lot easier because you’re in a good position to do the job. And it places a lot less strain on your back, says Cunningham.

Tip#3: Laundry

When you’re taking laundry out off a dryer, instead of bending and rounding your back, put one leg out behind, lean on the top of the dryer with one hand and remove the dry clothes with the other.

This way your back will stay fairly straight and you’ll relieve any pressure on your spine. Then when carrying the basket, be sure to pick it up from a squat and lift with your legs.

Tip#4: Vacuuming

Vacuuming doesn’t have to be a disaster for your back, even a hurting sciatic back. Just don’t bend your back and lean forward as if you’re in a motorcycle race. Your back will end up in pain by the time you finish your task, says Cunningham.

The best way to vacuum safely is to take a fencing stance, with one foot forward and one back.

Your forward knee can be slightly bent. One hand on the vacuum handle is enough. Now use the other hand on your bent knee for added support. Keep your pelvis level and you’ll do the vacuuming in record time with no pain. You can also try switching sides to even the load.

For best balance, always keep your right foot forward when your left hand is on the vacuum and vice versa.

If you have to vacuum under a table or furniture, the best choice often is to go down on one knee with your other leg bent in a half kneel. This lets you work under the furniture without over stressing your back.

With these tips, doing your daily chores doesn’t have to end in back pain.

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