Let the Spring Cleaning Begin! 10 Tips From Your PT and OT

Before you begin your spring cleaning, we recommend creating a written list of all the tasks you want to accomplish. Making a list can also help prioritize the tasks that need to be done and virtualize the amount of work at hand. It is important to consider the amount of energy it will take to complete your list and to divide larger projects into multiple days to minimize your risk of injury or aggravating a recovering injury. Realistically, Utilizing proper body mechanics during any type of activity is important to reduce your risk of injury.

Here are some tips from our PTs and OTs to help make your spring cleaning easier:

1. Always maintain good posture. Keep your back straight and your head up.
2. When you are listing, remember to lift with your legs and bend your knees to reduce the impact on your back.
3. Be conscious of the items you are lifting and how heavy they are and ask for help from others when you need it. Always carry items close to your body to avoid further strain. Lifting things improperly can increase your risk of injury.
4. Use your body weight to move objects. When pushing a lawnmower or wheelbarrow, try to use your body weight to move instead of your arms and back, this will make less strain on your arms and back.
5. Rake properly. Take the pressure off your back by using the “scissor stance.” Place one foot in front of the other and keep a slight bend in your knees. Reverse the lead leg after 5-10 minutes.
6. Use the proper tools. Choose ergonomic tools with extra padding and large or curved handles, as they place less stress on your muscles and joints.
7. Take Breaks. Pace yourself. When you feel your body is tired slow down and rest. Admire the work you have accomplished thus far! You will get there!
8. Drink lots of water. Staying hydrated helps keep your muscles loose.
9. Choose a few different tasks instead of just one task that requires you to do the same movements. Changing tasks throughout the day helps prevent repetitive strain injury of specific muscle groups.
10. Ask for help! Asking your family, partner, or friends to help you is a great idea to prevent injuries and keep things fun!

To learn more about how your PT or OT can help, visit a  clinic near you.