Lifting weights or doing chores around the house may strain your body, but with the proper form, paying attention to your body, and following these tips, you can prevent injury. It is important to keep body positioning in mind when you are lifting, working around the house, and even while sleeping in order to prevent lower back pain, shoulder pain, and more. If you are experiencing lower back pain, contact us today for a chiropractic adjustment.

Lifting Activities

  • Don’t twist or turn when you lift. If you have to turn to place the object, step in the direction of the turn, don’t just twist at the waist.
  • Always bend at your knees, not your waist, when lifting anything heavier than 10 percent of your body weight (e.g., a child or heavy box). We know that those who are lifting weights for recreation won’t fit into this example. So, if there are any questions in this area, don’t hesitate to ask. Dr. McDougle had a max dead-lift of 500lbs x 20 reps doing the Romanian style lift.
  • When lifting an object, plant your feet about 12-18 inches apart, kneel or squat in front of the object, and lift as you straighten up to prevent lower back pain. Be sure to lift with the big muscles of your thighs, arms, and shoulders, not with your back. Do not relax at the bottom before executing your lifting of any object.
  • Occasionally, it can be difficult to lift correctly. Lifting grocery bags out of the car is one such situation. Bring the objects to you first and then lift carefully.
  • When engaging in repetitive lifting, use good lifting form, take frequent breaks, and use equipment such as lifting belts or wrist straps to help whenever possible.

Physical Activity Around the House

  • As with any physical activity like playing sports, raking, gardening, and shoveling snow, always warm up and cool down before and after.
  • Use a strap when working with hand-held yard equipment. Place the strap on your shoulder on the opposite side of your body from the machine and switch the machine from one side of your body to the other as often as possible. Use electric rather than gas-powered machines whenever possible because they’re much lighter.
  • When you wash dishes at the sink, open the cabinet beneath the sink, bend one knee, and put your foot on the shelf under the sink. You can also lean against the counter for support.
  • When ironing, use a small stool or a book to step upon with one foot or the other then switch episodically.
  • When vacuuming, make sure all of your weight is on one foot, then step forward and back with the other foot as you push the vacuum. Try to use your back foot as a pivot point when you turn.

Using the Telephone

  • Avoid cradling the receiver between your neck and shoulder. Hold the phone in your hand, use a speakerphone, or better yet, if you use the phone a lot, use a lightweight headset. It is also a good idea to switch hands frequently when on the phone.

Resting and Sleeping

  • Don’t hyper-flex your neck by using a sofa arm as a pillow or watch TV in bed with your head flexed only by pillows; this can strain your neck.
  • Avoid sleeping on a soft mattress or sofa. Dr. McDougle highly recommends either the TempurPedic or Sleep Number Beds.
  • Don’t sleep in a chair or in cramped quarters. Lie down in bed when it is time to sleep.
  • Sleep on your side with your knees bent and a pillow between the knees or on your back with a pillow under your knees. Do NOT sleep on your stomach. This can permanently damage your neck!
  • Use a pillow that supports your head so that your neck and vertebrae are level with the rest of your spine as you sleep. If you lie on your side, make sure that the pillow is at a thickness to match the distance between your shoulder and neck/head. Also, avoid sleeping on two pillows.
  • Be sure to get plenty of sleep every night to allow your body to rest and recuperate. Researchers have shown that seven hours of night sleep is best for better health.

If you have experienced lower back pain or shoulder pain after any of these activities, contact Dr. Todd McDougle for chiropractic care. IN Chiropractic can help you relieve pain with a chiropractic adjustment and give you additional tips on how to stay healthy with chiropractic care. Feeling sore after lifting or working around the house might feel normal, but if lower back pain persists, it may be time to schedule an appointment with a doctor who can help. Don’t think lower back pain is something that can’t be fixed and just take some pain medication. You don’t have to struggling with pain day after day. Call us today for a chiropractic adjustment.