Vacuuming the house or Raking the Yard

Vacuuming the house, or raking in the yard can actually be very challenging activities, particularly to low back involvements. The reason they’re challenging has to do with the loading of the spine that takes place with the forward bending of the trunk, and the twisting incorporated in the raking or vacuuming motion. The task should be avoided during early phases of treatment, since the repeated loading of the injured area will defeat the gains made with the adjustment.

When done, it is best to shorten the stroke, and do more of a dance with the vacuum or the rake that involves moving the feet and doing light lunges. Weighting the leading leg while keeping the forward curve into the lower back, uses the large muscles of the legs to carry the load, instead of loading the spine with the weight of the trunk and the momentum of the tools.

Make the task more manageable by dividing it into smaller portions for shorter time frames. If there are a number of jobs on your list, do part of the first one, and then pursue a different task with different uses of your body for a short time. You can take time to walk or stretch between tasks, before returning to address the next part of the vacuuming or raking job.

It’s all just a way of making ordinary tasks into beneficial exercises. Varying the tasks allows for the whole body to be used in a more orderly manner, and mimics circuit training at the gym, with the exercise spread between different machines, instead of working out on only one machine for the duration of the workout.