Household chores are unavoidable, but you can avoid the aches and pain caused by straining a muscle or joint while getting these tasks done. Mundane household jobs like sweeping and mopping may seem like an unlikely reason to develop pain, but you’d be surprised how easily you can sprain, strain, or hurt yourself. Here are some tips to protect your neck and shoulder when you’re doing these 5 common household chores.

1. Ironing Clothes

One of the tips to protect your shoulder in the common household task of ironing is to ensure you don’t have to bend your back or hunch to iron the clothes. Try and sit down while ironing, ensuring good back support. If you have to stand and iron your clothes, ensure the height of the table is comfortable and take breaks and move around a bit in between. Standing for lengths of time can sometimes cause lower back pain and stiffness in the neck and shoulders. Shift weight between feet from time to time to avoid straining one side, and to improve blood supply, and reduce fatigue.

2. Washing Dishes

Prolonged standing as well standing in a bent-over position to reach the dishes and faucet can cause your back, neck, and shoulders to hurt. Try and stand as upright as possible while scrubbing the dishes. You could also use a small step stool or simply place one leg on the ledge inside the cabinet below the sink. This shifts some of the load on your leg when you lean forward to wash the dishes, reduces bending at the waist, and lowers strain.

3. Doing the Laundry

Avoid repeatedly bending over to load the machine. Squat with your knees bent or get a low stool and sit on it when you load a front-loading machine. If you are handwashing clothes, use some kind of stationery pole(like the tap) to wring the clothes instead of wringing them with your hands. The wringing movement can cause repetitive stress to your arms and may strain the shoulders too. Fold the washed and dried clothes while seated rather than bending over while standing over them to avoid neck pain.

4. Sweeping/Mopping

If you’re looking for tips to protect the neck in household chores, be sure you have a plan for how to mop and sweep the right way because things can quite easily go wrong if you aren’t careful! Incorrect posture and methods can leave you with a bad back, knee pain, and more. 1. Consider buying a good long-handled and light mop that allows you to clean from a standing position. If you have to mop with a hand-held cloth, don’t bend at the waist. Instead, squat down as you wipe the floor. 2. Even within a good easy-to-use mop, you may still develop back pain if you twist your torso in various directions to mop while keeping your feet firmly stationary. Instead, get used to turning your body so that your hips and shoulders are both facing the direction you need to mop. 3. The wringing action to empty dirty water from a used mop or to remove excess water before mopping a room can be hard on your wrists, arms, and shoulders. Invest in a spinning-action mop which has a built-in wringing mechanism, this eliminates the need for manually wringing the mop each time you wipe an area.

5. Cooking

If you’re responsible for most of the cooking at home, you probably spend an hour or more chopping vegetables, making the dough for roti’s, and cooking the actual meal. Unfortunately, your kitchen counter may not be the right level for your height. Here’s what you can do to reduce the strain: 1. Get as close to the counter as possible while working 2. Ensure your back is straight, shoulders relaxed and not riding upwards. Your chin must be tucked in to avoid excessive strain on the neck. Consciously correct your posture from time to time. 3. Take regular breaks if you’re cooking for a long time. Every 30 mins or so, pause and stretch.

Effective Neck and Shoulder Pain Relief Remedy

All these chores can take their toll on your body, but there’s no need to suffer through the pain quietly. The easily available topical remedy ‘Omnigel’ offers quick pain relief that lasts for several hours. It doesn’t just ease the pain and swelling but also helps reduce stiffness and any inflammation in the affected area. You’ll feel a whole lot better and better prepared to take on the tasks the next day knowing that Omnigel can help with these aches and pains. 

Omnigel is available as a spray and gel and is effective against all kinds of musculoskeletal pain from household chores.

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