Is housework causing you back pain? Well according to a recent survey, housework is the leading activity for causing back pain.Back pain is extremely common and it is the main reason people seek treatment from a chiropractor. So when I see surveys about people’s attitude to back pain I take interest. Last week I came across a survey from backpainhelp.com where they asked over 2000 people who suffered from back pain what activities they were prohibited from completing. Top of the survey was housework with 26% of those surveyed forced to quit. In second place was working or studying (22%), followed by sex (14%) and driving (14%).
A few of my patients have certainly tried the line “Alison told me I can’t do any housework!” but this is a long way from the truth. Whilst some household activities such as leaning over the sink to wash up and using the vacuum cleaner can be uncomfortable if you suffer from back pain, the solution is not to stop doing them. If you really want to beat back pain the reality is that most people have to do back strengthening exercises alongside receiving chiropractic treatment. This is especially true if you have chronic back pain (longer than six months) as research has shown that many of the low back stabilising muscles shrink and deteriorate over this time period.
So instead of avoiding certain activities you work to strengthen back muscles with specific exercise and also modify your activities. For example you may find you have to spread your normal household chores over two or three days rather than doing it all in one go. When driving use the lumbar support in your car or use a small rolled up hand towel in as support for the low back.
Alison Eaves is a chiropractor based in Leeds. To book an appointment with Alison or to find out how you can improve your back pain call 07828 686 026 or book online for further information.