Back Pain Prevention – DIY

Back pain can often be a result of doing DIY or, more accurately, it is the movements, posture and actions involved in DIY that are the problem.

There are ways to minimise the risk of back pain when doing common DIY jobs and in addition to watching this video you can download the helpful advice sheet produced by the British Chiropractic Association.

Mind Your Posture: DIY

British Chiropractic Association Advice To Keep You DIYing

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The BCA’s Top Tips

Reach for the sky
  • When painting a ceiling, think about how to get the largest amount of paint on the ceiling in the shortest space of time.
  • Use a large paint pad or a roller with an extended handle (hold it at chest height).
  • Keep your head in as neutral position as possible and keep facing forward; don’t over stretch your neck.
  • If you can lie down to do the job using a platform, do!
Don’t twist again
  • If you need to use a ladder, make sure you are always facing it and move the ladder regularly, rather than leaning to reach your goal.
  • Always keep your shoulders, hips and knees pointing in the same direction.
Treat DIY like normal exercise
  • Warm up and warm down to lessen the chance of muscle strains.
Dress appropriately
  • Don’t wear tight, constricting clothes – be comfortable and make sure your clothing has plenty of room to give with your movement.
Take a break
  • Vary your activity and try to spend no more than 20-30 minutes on any one thing. If painting, you can still take short breaks without causing a problem. It is important to take breaks to avoid being in the same position for too long.
Plan ahead
  • If you are planning a trip to the local DIY store to purchase heavy items like cement, buy smaller bags rather than one big bag. Smaller items are easier and safer to carry.
  • If you do buy heavy items, use a trolley and, if on your own, ask an assistant at the store to help you.
  • Don’t lift with your arms straight out, keep the elbows bent and to your side to minimise the stress on your back.
  • If having items delivered, have them unloaded as close to where you need them as possible; this will save the effort of moving them again.