Housework and Back Pain; How to Minimise it (that is, the Back Pain)

By Dr. Olivia O’ Leary D.C. BSc Hons

How not to clean the windows…

As boring as it can be you simply can’t get away from day to day housework.  At Gorey Family Chiropractic Clinic we commonly see people suffering and aggravated by back pain as a result of repetitive physical activities around the house. This month we thought we’d offer some practical advice on how to get it done with the minimum of physical strain, particularly on our backs.

90% of people will experience some back pain in their life, but it is not the housework that is to blame, it’s the way we perform the housework that’s causing the problem. In most people’s cases, there is usually some prior injury to the spine or pelvis, with the housework just aggravating the problem further.

So lets look at some of the most common household tasks, and some of the suggestions that our team at Gorey Family Chiropractic Clinic have put forward to prevent and ease back pain:


When you are hoovering or mopping, most people will reach forward with their dominant arm and bend forward at the waist whilst simultaneously twisting. Doing this action again and again, puts considerable strain on the muscles of the lower back.



To avoid twisting your back, you need to keep your hips and shoulders moving in the direction of the work. It is extremely important to stop bending over, so place one foot forward and bend slightly at the knee, this will allow you to keep your back straight.


Just like the hoovering and mopping, bending repeatedly to do the laundry or fill the dishwasher, puts continuous strain on the muscles and joints of the spine.

You may be wondering how do you then overcome the problem of having to bend forward and pick up those dirty socks from under the bed?


Use a technique called the Golfers Reach. This technique greatly reduces the strain on your back.

For example, when you reach forward with your right hand, balance the action by lifting up your left leg. Make sure you use your other hand to hold onto a work surface to provide support. Remember, if you reach further forward with your hand lift the opposite leg higher.

Always remember if not in the Golfers reach position, you must bend your knees. It sounds obvious but this is where the majority of injuries in the lower back occur from, inappropriate bending technique.

Changing the way you do the housework can help prevent and alleviate acute back pain.

However, still getting back pain……?

Symptoms that are continuing for more than one month indicate a deeper underlying condition. If the condition continues, becomes more constant, or the pain is gradually increasing in severity, don’t ignore the situation.

Call Gorey Family Chiropractic Clinic today on 053 94 83338 where one of our expert team will be happy to assist you and get to the root of your problem.