Prevent Lower Back Pain When Sweeping & Mopping The Floor

Are Sweeping And Mopping Hurting Your Lower Back??

We commonly hear patients complain about back pain when sweeping or mopping.  But just a few simple changes can help make your housework much less of a pain in the butt (sometimes quite literally).

Watch the video to learn how to prevent lower back pain when sweeping and mopping.
(Looking for information on vacuuming?  Read this post)

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Why Does My Back Hurt When I Sweep Or Mop?

Your lower back might hurt when sweeping or mopping because of three reasons:

  1. You stand in a sustained bending position when sweeping
  2. Overreaching causing too much forward banding
  3. Excessive twisting of your trunk

Are Sweeping And Mopping Bad For Your Back?

Sweeping and mopping aren't inherently bad for your back.

However, if your lower back hurts when  sweeping and mopping, you do want to be careful about HOW you sweep and mop.

This is especially true if you already have back pain when standing.

When your stand with your back in a sustained forward bending position, this causes the muscle in the back to stay stiff in order to keep you from falling forward.

Furthermore, this sustained muscle contraction can create compression on the joints and discs in your lower back.

Overreaching Can Cause Back Pain When Sweeping

When you reach too far ahead of you when sweeping or mopping, you have to bend forward even more.

Excessive forward bending when sweeping throws your center of gravity (trunk weight) outside of your base of support (feet), and your lower back muscles have to work even harder to keep you from falling.

Twisting Too Much Can Make Your Back Hurt When Sweeping And Mopping

The joints in your lower back weren't made to twist.  They sit inside one another as shown below.

The lumbar facet joints prevent twisting of the lower back when sweeping

This orientation of the joints cause the facet joints in the lower back to jam into each other if you twist your back too much when sweeping or mopping.

Learn how to prevent back pain when twisting.

How To Prevent Sciatica And Lower Back Pain When Sweeping Or Mopping

As noted above, sweeping and mopping doesn't have to be bad for your back.  Using the correct technique, you keep yourself from having severe back pain when sweeping.

Tips To Prevent Sciatica & Lower Back Pain When Sweeping Or Mopping

  1. Keep the broom close to you to put less stress on your back. When you reach out to get things on the floor that are father away you're putting more stress on your back muscles.
  2. Stay upright as much as possible. Lean slightly forward to keep your back in a neutral position.
  3. Alternate hands if you're able to. Doing this helps avoid the stress on just one side of the body, and keeps the pressure on both sides even.
  4. Use different patterns. If you need to sweep with your hands in the same position and can't stress, then switch your sweeping motion.

Hopefully these tips help you sweep your floors more comfortably!

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