Home Household chores Simple housework can cause injury

Simple housework can cause injury


From cooking and vacuuming to using power tools and painting, you’re always on the go around the house. Unfortunately, tackling household chores can sometimes cause injury or trigger flare-ups of existing health issues. Many common tasks, including yard work, often involve repetitive movements that can lead to nerve and tendon pain, causing both short and long term injury.

Risks of routine household chores

  • Cooking: In the kitchen, you may have cuts from sharp knives, burns from hot liquids, or broken bones from slamming kitchen drawers.

  • Use of power tools: From severed hands to severed fingers, accidents due to the use of power tools such as saws and lawn mowers can result in a trip to the emergency room.

  • Cleaning: When you vacuum, clean, or clean ceiling fans, you repeat the same motions. This can cause repetitive motion injuries with symptoms such as tingling, numbness, muscle and joint pain.

  • Gardening work: Raking leaves, trimming hedges, weeding, cutting tree branches – all of this requires repetitive movements, which can strain the neck, arms, shoulders and back as well as itchy tendons and ligaments. Infection is also a risk. If you’re stung by a thorn or scratched by a branch, these seemingly simple injuries can be direct gateways to infection with a fungus or bacteria that can cause more serious problems.

  • Host projects: When painting, you perform repeated movements – sometimes overhead – which can exacerbate rotator cuff problems. When you hammer or twist a screwdriver, you repeatedly stretch, flex and twist your wrists, which can make wrist, forearm, and elbow problems such as “golfer’s elbow” or “golfer’s elbow” worse. tennis ”.

  • Using stepladders and ladders: For hard-to-reach areas, you can use a stepladder or ladder. But these can be dangerous, especially if you lose your balance and fall on an outstretched hand, causing wrist or forearm fractures.

When household chores require repetitive motion, longer term problems can arise. Here are some examples:

  • Tendinitis

  • Rotator cuff pain

  • Trigger finger (one of your fingers gets stuck in a bent position)

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome

  • Tennis elbow (inflammation around the outside of the elbow and forearm)

  • The golfer’s elbow (inflammation of the inner side of the arm and elbow)

Tips for avoiding injury

Many injuries can be avoided by taking simple precautions:

  • Learn safe cutting techniques. Keep knife blades sharp. Dull blades can cause sudden movements that could result in injury. When using a sharp knife, protect your other hand by curling your fingers when holding the vegetable or fruit and exposing only your knuckles with the knife. Always cut away from you and never use your palm as a cutting board. This is the number of injuries that occur when cutting avocados.

  • Keep everyday items close at hand. Store items you use frequently on lower shelves to prevent falls instead of using a stepladder to reach heights. If you must use a stepladder or ladder to reach something or to clean an elevated area, have someone hold the ladder while it is in use.

  • Wearing gloves. Protect your hands, fingers and wrists from cuts by choosing to wear gloves when gardening. They can protect against scratches and punctures, which will prevent infections.

  • Unplug power tools and appliances. If your lawn mower gets stuck or your weed chipper gets tangled, turn off the power before trying to fix it and never turn off the safety guards. Many saws and power tools come with protective shields to keep them running safely. Do not delete them.

  • Limit alcohol and certain medications. Relax with a cold drink when the job is done and the tools are put away. If you are working with sharp blades or power tools, avoid anything that makes you drowsy or impairs your judgment.

  • Work with good lighting. Make sure your workspace is well lit so that you can see clearly.

  • Have a safety buddy. This is especially important when using a stepladder or ladder.

  • Take breaks and alternate between activities. If you intend to reach overhead several times or do repetitive movements that cause pain, do so for five to ten minutes at a time. Take a break, then come back to it.

Rest and recovery

If you cut yourself, wash the wound with soap and water and maintain pressure to stop the bleeding. If the bleeding does not stop within 15 minutes, or if you experience numbness, tingling, or an inability to move your fingers, go to the emergency room immediately.

It is important to see a doctor for possible carpal tunnel syndrome if you experience severe numbness or tingling. This can be corrected with injections, splints, or surgery. The same goes for the trigger finger – if your fingers jump or jam, see your doctor immediately.

For minor aches and pains, such as inflamed tendons, rest for two or three days and use the RICE technique (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation). If you still have persistent pain after about a week, it’s time to make an appointment with your doctor.

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