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Six Tips For Making Vacuuming Easier on Your Lower Back

Photo courtesy of ShuttrKing|KT

 

At various times during the year there are different ways people hurt their backs.  Sometimes it’s shoveling snow or raking leaves, other occasions it’s cutting grass or climbing ladders.  But there is a year round chore that always seems to get people; vacuuming.

 

Understand that if your back is healthy, you can do all these exciting chores without difficulty.  But when you back is weak, there is a correct way to do it that will minimize the likelihood of aggravating your condition.

 

The very best way to vacuum is to get someone else to do it!  If that’s not an option, do these things:

 

  1. Only vacuum one room at a time.  Then dust and tidy up.  That way, you’re not doing something difficult for extended periods.
  2. Never move furniture with the vacuum in your hand.  Drop the wand and use two hands and good posture to move whatever furniture needs moving.
  3. Make the wand as tall as it will go so that you’re not bending over anymore than you must.
  4. Consciously suck your belly button into your spine.  This activates a muscle that acts like a girdle to stabilize your spine.
  5. Pretend you’re a football linebacker at the line of scrimmage.  By that I mean, stick your butt out to maintain the protective lordosis (curve) in your lower back.
  6. Switch hands so that you equally use muscles on both sides of your lower back.

 

These tips will give you the best chance of avoiding a low back vacuuming injury.  Obviously though, the best tip would be to fix your wonky low back.  The real reason vacuuming is a problem is because your deep spinal muscles are weak and can’t support your back during a challenging biomechanical activity like vacuuming.  It’s simpler to fix than you realize.

 

What other household chores do you find challenging? 

 

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