6 Ways To Protect Your Back From Household Chores

We all know that the old phrase “My home is my castle” is true in many ways. But preserving a sense of retreat, comfort and relaxation takes work – and at times, such work can be harmful to your health.

A household chore like vacuuming, or even just relaxing on the sofa, can cause unexpected consequences, says Dr. Frank J. Mandarino, president of Mandarino Chiropractic.

As explained by the American Chiropractic Association (ACA), some of the routine things you do at home can strain your back, including the sacroiliac area near the tailbone, and result in debilitating discomfort.

Such pain even can result from simply talking on the telephone. This is because cradling the phone between your ear and shoulder, for example, can lock up the spinal joints in the neck and upper back, and cause distress.

To avert such pain, ACA suggests you hold the phone with your hand or use the speakerphone.


With a mission of helping people avoid injury, Mandarino Chiropractic is sharing the following back-saving do’s and don’ts from ACA:

  1. When you wash dishes, open the cabinet beneath the sink, bend one knee and put your foot on the shelf under the sink. Lean against the counter so some of your weight is supported in front.
  2. When ironing, raise one foot a bit. Place it on a small stool or a book to take some strain off your back.
  3. To vacuum, use a “fencer’s stance.” Put all your weight on one foot, then step forward and back with the other foot as you push the vacuum forward and back. Use the back foot as a pivot when you turn.
  4. While watching television or relaxing, don’t use the sofa arm as a pillow. The angle is much too sharp for your neck.
  5. Use a cold pack if your back begins to hurt. Wrap an ice pack in a towel moistened with warm water. The warmth gives way to gradual cold, which likely will alleviate the discomfort. (No ice? Try frozen veggies instead.)
  6. If pain persists for more than a day or two or if you experience numbness, tingling or weakness in your arms or legs, see a doctor of chiropractic.
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