Back pain is most commonly associated with those aged between 35 and 55; the age bracket when many move house more than once. It must be remembered that moving house is not a task most of us undertake everyday which is why are not ready for the strenuous and lengthy activity we are about to put it through. Tying in the fact that moving house is one of life's top three most stressful events only adds to the turmoil!
Many opt to utilise the skill and brawn of their local moving company but there are ways you can help prevent injuries, or soothe acquired back pain, if you get involved with the lifting and shifting yourself.
Packing & Preparation
If you're going to be taking on some the day's labour, make sure you only pack boxes that you can actually carry. It is better to pack 40 light boxes that a manageable, than 20 light ones. When placing items in the removals boxes, keep lifting them safely to check they are not too heavy for you.
Boxes that are too light or too heavy can both cause injury or strain to the back. After lifting several boxes that have broken you out in a sweat, the acceleration of picking up a surprisingly light box can result in a painful movement. A top tip is to mark each box with "H" for heavy, "M" for medium, and "L" for light so that you are prepared.
Take a Soak
After a long day of packing or shifting boxes our entire bodies can be in pain. Many of us have magnesium deficient diets (found in bananas, avocados, peanuts, and soy) which results in muscle contraction - a pain trigger.
Magnesium and calcium work together to help regulate the body's nerves and muscle tone. So, if you're sore pre or post move, run a warm bath and place two cups of Epsom salts in to the water. Magnesium sulphate is found in Epsom salts and can be absorbed through the skin. To ease muscle pain you should aim to soak for at least 12 minutes, as frequently as possible, until the soreness subsides.
Understandably, if pain persists, you should visit your doctor.
If You Lift, Lift Correctly
I know we are all sick of hearing - straight back and bend at the knees - but it truly is important! Your legs are usually the most powerful part of your body and this is why it is best to adopt a safe technique that utilises this when picking up boxes to load into the lorry.
If you have existing back or neck complaints, trying to help with boxes on move day is a big no-no. Any problems will affect your lifting technique and you run the risk of tweaking an old injury or damaging yourself further. The best option is to help with the logistics and move smaller items to lessen your risk.
Keep on Moving
If you are unlucky enough to acquire a back injury when moving house try to keep moving as much as possible. Although it sounds absurd to suggest light exercise, our spines (like the rest of our body) are made to move. It is best to keep doing your daily duties as much as possible, perhaps using Tiger Balm to ease any serious discomfort. Remember to not overdo it and do some light walking or yoga to try and keep your back as loose as possible. Understandably, is the discomfort becomes too much, you should visit your doctor.
Take Your Time
On move day, there is no need to rush around. If you are hurling furniture and constantly on the go you are more than likely going to cause yourself an injury. Take 10 minutes here and there to rest your back or stretch it out.
If you do feel your back starting to go you should stop lifting heavy items immediately and just stick to helping with lighter things. If you need something to take the edge off of a painful back, you can always invest in some ibuprofen as it reduces pain and inflammation. However, always consult your doctor.