Housework: A Pain in the … Feet and Back

Did you know that today is National No Housework Day? That’s a right – a whole day to spend doing anything other than housework. Seems too good to be true – doesn’t it?

A 2008 study found that American women spend at least 17 hours a week cleaning their homes. However, housework seems like a never-ending job – filled with daily, seemingly endless and repetitive tasks.

Unfortunately, it’s the repetitive nature of housework, as well as the twisting, straining and overexertion of the joints and muscles, that can lead to aches and pains, especially in your feet and back.

If you spend several hours on your feet doing housework, you’re at risk of developing plantar fasciitis. This condition is the result of inflammation of the plantar fascia ligament – a thick, fibrous band of tissue that connects your heel bone to your toes. The plantar fascia creates the arches of your foot that supports the muscles. When the plantar fascia is overstretched or overused, tiny tears can occur in its surface, causing inflammation and pain.

Many household chores, such as vacuuming, scrubbing floors, carrying loads of laundry and loading the dishwasher can put excess strain on your back muscles, causing inflammation and pain. You may not even notice that you’re overexerting your muscles until the next day when you wake up with back pain.

To reduce the risk of foot and back injuries while doing housework, here are some tips to consider:

  • Instead of doing all your household chores in one day, break up your tasks over the course of a week – doing a little each day.
  • When lifting heavy items, bend from your knees and not your waist. As you slowly lift the item, hold it as close to your body as possible. If you have to turn to place the item, step in the direction of the turn to avoid twisting your body.
  • Combine items or tasks to reduce your trips up and down stairs. Use a basket to carry multiple items.
  • Instead of using a heavy vacuum cleaner or a bulky, wet mop, use lighter equipment like an electric broom or a light mop with a sponge pad.
  • When vacuuming, put all your weight on one foot, and step forward and back with the other foot as you move the vacuum forward and backward.
  • When ironing take some of the strain off your back. Place one foot on a small stool for a few minutes, then switch feet.
  • When washing dishes, open the cabinet door beneath the sink. Put one foot on the shelf under the sink and lean against the counter for support. Switch feet after a few minutes.
  • Use cleaning brushes with long or extendable handles to keep from stretching too much.
  • Use kneepads or a cushion when cleaning the bathtub.
  • Take frequent breaks – sit after standing for long time periods or stand after sitting for a long time.
  • Perform stretching exercises to relax your muscles.

If you do experience foot or back pain, you should avoid doing more housework and rest. Apply ice packs to help reduce inflammation to the painful areas. Take anti-inflammatory medications, like ibuprofen, to lessen pain and swelling.

If you suffer from foot or back pain, consider wearing a custom orthotic, like the ezWalker® Performance Insole. These insoles support the arches of your feet and reduce muscle fatigue in your feet, knees, legs and lower back. Also, proactive use of ezWalker® Performance Insoles can help to reduce your risk of developing plantar fasciitis and/or relieve your pain if you already suffer from it. These insoles work in all types of shoes since they’re ultra thin and only ¾ in length. So order your ezWalkers today!

And spend your National No Housework Day doing something you enjoy! Better yet, go get a massage to ease your aching muscles.

ezWalker® Performance Insoles – Because … when your feet feel good, you feel good.