Sweeping is not necessarily a high risk activity, but if done incorrectly it could bring you to your knees. Life teaches us these little lessons when we least expect it. I wanted to spend a little bit more time outside because the weather was amazing. Looking around my living room I caught sight of a book, so I decided to go out back and read. Unfortunately, there were leaves and other foliage scattered across the patio. I grabbed the broom and proceeded to sweep.
As I was sweeping the patio, I felt a sharp twinge in my back and my knees buckled just a little bit. I wasn’t in severe pain, but it did make me pause for a minute. I had just finished working out, which consisted of deadlifts, hang cleans, toes-to-bar, and box jumps. Needless to say, my core muscles were tired. I must have twisted the wrong way, or pushed through too hard with the broom, but something in my lower back screamed for a second. I finished sweeping the rest of the patio without any pain or problems because I was very mindful of how I swept after that twinge.
Here’s What To Do While Sweeping
Keep Your Core Engaged – You do not need to tighten your abs the entire time you are sweeping, but make sure they are protecting your spine as you twist and turn.
DO NOT Bend Over Too Much – If the broom is too short, get another broom. The more you bend over (i.e. forward flexion of the spine) there will be an increase in pressure on the spinal structures, especially the discs.
Take Your Time – If you hurry through the process you will increase the likelihood for injury. This is because you will bend too much or twist too quickly which leads to a greater possibility of pain.
Be Square – Don’t try to twist and bend to get underneath chairs or table. Twisting while bending will lead to injuries more often that not.
Sweeping is an activity that most of us do on a regular basis. Hopefully now you will pay a little more attention to how you sweep. If you need any instruction on how to sweep, I have an entire office waiting for practice, hahaha. I hope you have an amazing day.
Dr Spencer Charlet