It’s spring cleaning season! Recharging, rejuvenating, and getting the house back in order may end in a painful experience. It’s crucial to be prepared before tackling your to-do list. Tending to large spaces takes time and a toll on the body. That’s why we’re preparing you with these 6 simple cleaning tips to help avoid further irritating your chronic pain: 

#1 Take your time to avoid overdoing it

Cleaning can be physically demanding, especially when it comes to spring cleaning for over-taking the entire house. Pace out tasks over several days or weeks, maybe even a month if needed. As a local Dallas pain management physician, some of the most common reasons patients see us at ARI is for overdoing it at home, like reaching in high places or bending over to reach low places for several hours. All that extra bending and stretching can cause loads of pain in the back, wrists, and neck! 

#2 Be prepared ahead of time.

If you’re going to clean a particular area, make sure you gather all the proper supplies before starting the task at hand. This helps cut down unnecessary trips to find the right tools and supplies. For example, if you’re cleaning the basement and forget dust rags or trash bags, you’ll need to go up and down the stairs once more. This can be avoided by being prepared (and your body will be thankful later). 

#3 Use proper body mechanics for heavy lifting.

Chronic pain and heavy lifting do not go hand-in-hand. Moving heavy objects places strain on big muscles, like the back, causing pain to worsen. Make sure to use proper lifting techniques by bending at the knee, keeping feet shoulder-width apart and the item close to your body. Your back should be kept flat like you’re squatting. Avoid, when possible, repetitive movements. 

#4 Stay hydrated! 

Don’t forget to take plenty of breaks while cleaning to drink water or some other beverage. Even if you’re physically active, water will help your muscles be hydrated, which is essential to avoiding injury. 

#5 Listen! Your body is talking. 

If your body starts to feel uneasy or in pain, stop and take a break. Fighting through to finish a job is not worth it! Listen to your body and take a break when necessary. If you do not, a small problem may turn into a larger one. 

#6 Take time to treat yourself after a good job that is well-done. 

After you’ve spent ample time cleaning, your muscles may be sore or achy. We encourage you to treat yourself (and your body) by running a bath, icing or heating problem areas, and performing gentle stretches.

Lower back pain

If your lower back feels sore from lifting a heavy table or dresser, consider laying flat on your back in bed and pull your legs inward. This is known as trunk rotation. You may find stretches like a child’s pose, piriformis stretch, and a seated spinal twist helpful. 

Arms & Wrists

If dusting the ceiling fan is causing pain in the wrists, try performing some simple exercises by holding out your arm straight and pulling back your fingers upward and then downward for 30 seconds each. This is known as a flexor stretch (up) and extensor stretch (down). 

Neck & shoulders

If you’ve been downlow cleaning the baseboards or sorting through old photos, your neck and shoulders might be in pain! Consider sitting “criss-cross” on the floor and doing gentle neck rolls to relieve some pain. You can do this by slowly shaking your head “yes” and “no” and then side to side. 

It’s best to be prepared for spring cleaning by making a plan and gathering supplies that you need to avoid potential injury. Cleaning for a long extended time can agitate already irritable areas. 

When your life is taken over by chronic pain, it can make your everyday activities like every day cleaning hard to complete. No one should have to suffer through pain like this. If you suffer from chronic pain, chances are you have tried many pain management treatment options. If you aren’t responding to traditional pain management options or medications, infusion pain treatment may be a great option for you. The pain management doctors at Arthritis Pain Institute are here to help you find a treatment plan that works best for your particular type of chronic pain. If you are ready to start on a path to a more pain free lifestyle give us a call today (972) 851-4302, and we can get you started today.

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