There are many health issues that cause prolonged back pain, but it's thoughtless daily activities that contribute to stiff, aching backs. Which activities? Activities such as washing dishes, applying makeup and laundry. Have you ever noticed how often you stretch your back while doing these daily activities? Probably more often than you think.
Slouching creates back pain while washing dishes
Washing dishes is a culprit that contributes to low back pain even though it's "harmless." Bending over a deep sink, or slouching, creates a throbbing lower back; especially if standing at the sink for a long time. Bending down to the dishwasher also strains your back. In addition, a phone conversation with poor posture while washing dishes is sure create problems.
Dish washing remedies
To ease back pain bring the dishes closer to your body. Instead gathering dishes in the sink wash them or put them in the dishwater immediately. You'll spend shorter periods of time at the sink this way. Or, place dishes in a designated tub on the counter. Although no one wants dirty dishes on the counter it reduces bending and reaching into the sink.
Laundry is a back breaker
Beside washing dishes, bending, twisting and standing with poor posture during laundry causes back aches. People pickup clothes from the floor carelessly, or carry heavy loads of laundry that you can't see over. Not seeing over the load makes you arch profoundly and crane your neck.
Change the way you pick up laundry to decrease back pain. Bring one leg up while picking clothes up from the floor. For example, think of the Warrior III Pose, also known as Virabhadrasana III. Sound weird? Maybe, but it tightens the abdomen and improves balance and posture. Unlike the actual yoga pose, use one arm to support yourself as you pick up clothes with the other arm.
Also, lighten the load. Don't pile the laundry basket so high that you can't see over it, and make a second trip instead.
Applying makeup isn't synonymous to back pain
Applying makeup is not a chore, but it can certainly be back-breaking. From plucking eyebrows to applying lipstick, women commonly lean over the bathroom counter top to get close to the mirror. This awkward angle adds to back stiffness and aches.
Does a vanity table help? Yes, but that's if you're not leaning over the vanity, and if the seat is the right height. To ease a stiff back use a vanity with an adjustable mirror. Use an adjustable mirror in the bathroom too so you don't stoop your neck while standing.
Change posture and gain core strength to reduce back aches
Whether bent or twisted during daily activities posture has a direct correlation to back pain. Good posture, and holding in your abdomen, reduces back pain. Hold in your abdomen during daily activities, and add the abdominal vacuüm to your exercise arsenal.
If you're not sure how to do a vacuum; here's how
Stand upright with your feet shoulder's width apart. Place your hands on your hips. Inhale as much air as possible and slowly release it. Pull your core in-and-up from the navel. Once the air is expelled hold this position for at least 20 seconds.
The abdominal vacuüm strengthens the transverse abdominal which supports the spine. Over time, you'll build a strong core to offset back pain.
Lisa M. White
Copyright ©2011 CPT Lisa M. White™. All rights reserved.