Mon, Jan 23, 2012 - Page 9 News List

How to ease spring cleaning muscle aches
過年大掃除 簡易四招舒緩痠痛

A woman mops the floor.

Photo: Liu Hsiao-hsin, Liberty Times

Every household has been busy with spring cleaning before the Lunar New Year, and while it is out with the old and in with the new, a sore back is also frequently one of the side effects of spring cleaning. Hsia Jui-mei, a physical therapist at Changhua Christian Hospital’s Erlin Branch, says the best way to prevent your body from getting so sore is to split up your spring cleaning chores over several days and rest for a little while every 20 minutes.


Hsia says the main reasons we usually get sore is because we work for an extended period of time, doing the same movements repeatedly, and keep bad posture. For example, we sometimes try to finish all of the spring cleaning in a hurry just because the weather is nice. Continuously raising one’s arms to clean windows can simply be too much for a person to bear. The most frequent bad posture occurs when people bend over to move things. Bending one’s knees or squatting down to move things is the most appropriate posture.。


Hsia therefore suggests spreading out one’s spring cleaning over several days, resting every 20 minutes, and stretching one’s joints so that getting sore is not the greatest fear one has during the Lunar New Year.


She has also provided four simple exercises one can do to ease muscle aches, each of which can be done five times, five seconds each time. If you have other issues, quickly see a doctor or a physical therapist to find an exercise remedy.


For the first exercise, grab the bottom of your chair on one side while your other hand pulls your head in the opposite direction until you feel some tension in your shoulder and neck. Hold this position for five seconds and avoid holding your breath.


For the second exercise, put one of your hands in front of you at a 90-degree angle to the ground with your palm facing out in front of you and your fingers pointing down. Use your other hand to pull the hand towards your body, causing slight pressure until you feel a little tension in your arms. Hold it for five seconds and avoid holding your breath.


For the third exercise, one leg is bent while the other one is extended out with the foot pointing up. Keep your back straight and lean slightly forward. Hold it for five seconds and avoid holding your breath.


For the fourth exercise, make fists with both hands and bend your elbows at a 90-degree angle with the upper part of your arm against your body. With your elbows against the side of your body, rotate your arms outward while your two hands keep making fists. Feel the muscle between your spine and shoulder blades contracting. Keep doing it for five seconds and avoid holding your breath.




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