Do you get back pain while doing simple household chores like sweeping or mopping? Most of us don’t like doing chores and adding pain to the mix makes them seem even less appealing. You may be in luck, studies done by the Facebook Institute of Bogus Experiments (FIBE) show that some individuals are predisposed to adverse reactions while doing chores. These include, procrastination, frustration, or general lack of interest. Okay, that study was just a joke. But here is some good info to keep at hand when tackling your 2016 Spring Cleaning. Reason Why Spring Cleaning Hurts Cleaning involves a lot of awkward positions. We try to reach under tables where guests often look, in corners of ceilings to clear cob webs or awkwardly twist to get that annoying final spot on the window. The main thing to keep in mind here is your posture. Posture is not just something you track at your desk. You need to be conscious of it when doing household chores. Reaching, bending, and twisting constantly will put strain on the muscles of your back. Even if you work out normally, this can lead to strains. Be aware of your positions. In need of Pain Rehabilitation? Schedule an Appointment Today! If you have any questions, or want a consultation with a professional, feel free to call, or schedule an appointment online at any of our Bergen County or Passaic County offices in New Jersey. Choose from Glen Rock, Franklin Lakes, Fair Lawn, Ho-ho-kus/Ridgewood, and/or Clifton – we make it possible for you to visit any of our offices at your convenience. Stretching Stretching is important before any kind of physical activity and it is especially important as you get older. On top of that, stretching while doing the activity is also a great idea. Ideally, you have access to a foam roller, but if you do not, here are a few basic back stretches to get you going: Lying Piriformis Stretch Lay down on your back Cross one leg over the other so that the ankle is resting on the knee Move the bottom leg toward your chest Apply gentle pressure to the knee of the top leg You should feel this in the butt of the top leg Breathe with a 2 second inhale and 3 second exhale Hold for 20-30 seconds and switch Happy Baby Lie on your back Bend your knees toward your chest Grab the insides of your feet with your hands If you have difficulty use a strap or belt loop over each sole Bring your knees towards your armpits Gently push your feet into your hands or belt/strap loops Gently rock back and forth or side to side Chest Stretch Standing, place one had on a wall, door frame, or ledge Step forward with the extended arm and turn your entire body to the opposite side Breath with a 2 second inhale and 3 second exhale Hold for 20-30 seconds and switch Seated Twist Sit on a chair or other stable surface Your knees should form 90 degree angles Lengthen your spine by sitting up strait Rotate form the waste and place on hand behind you and the other on your thigh You should by trying to look behind you while keep a straight back Breath with a 2 second inhale and 3 second exhale Hold for 20-30 seconds and switch Besides stretching, here are more tips for staying pain free: Keep your shoulders over your hips as much as possible If doing a repetitive task, change positions as much as possible Lift with your legs Avoid twisting while lifting Try not to lift anything alone Take the extra time to set up a ladder or stool Break up spring cleaning over a few days (don’t be a hero and tackle it all at once) Ideally you already exercise regularly, but if not spring is great time to start. Seek the help of a professional to set up an exercise program. Focus on movements that will strengthen your back and glutes. Try these Pain Free Exercises: Laying Glute Bridge Lay on your back and bend your knees so your feet are flat. Lift your hip up towards the ceiling and squeeze your glutes (don’t forget to contract your abs as well!) At first you many want to place your hands on your glutes to make sure you get proper activation. You can experiment with keeping your feet closer (activates more glute) or further away (activating more hamstring). Deadlifts (and Variations) Stand with the kettlebell or dumbbell directly underneath you and your feet positioned roughly shoulder width apart. The weight should be in line with the arches on both feet. Bend down and grab the weight – be sure to do so while properly loading the hip. Your gaze should be roughly six feet in front of you. Stay down and pack the shoulder – point your elbow crease forward (your arm will rotate a bit). Keep your feet flat and push off the ground and stand up. Squeeze your glutes as much as possible at the top. Keep your chest out and lower the weight while loading your hip. Low Row Sit down at low row and grab the handle Slide back in the seat so that your knees are partially bent Pull back and squeeze the middle of your back (your shoulder blades again come together) and hold Try to keep tension in your back as you let the handle go towards the machine The range of motion should not be great but you should feel it in your back the entire time.