Its that time of year again where we find ourselves spending hours on end trying to maintain and upkeep our homes.

Did you know that many shoulder injuries can occur from everyday household activities that are repetitive and strenuous? Tasks include vacuuming, dusting, reaching overhead, lifting heavy furniture, carrying groceries and yard work!

Yard work is a huge cause of shoulder pain that we see in the clinic, especially this time of year with raking in full swing.

4 tips to help save your shoulder during house / yard work this fall:

Effective Reaching:

Washing windows, dusting overhead, cleaning floors and vacuuming require us to reach repetitively and frequently far away! Try to avoid stretching your arm out completely when doing housework. When the shoulder is fully extended and stretched it causes unnecessary stress throughout the shoulder which can result in injury. Instead, try to perform work close to your body, elevate your body by standing on a secure stool to reach overhead cabinets or use a tool that can extend to reach those hard to reach areas. Try to work at waist level when possible.

Let cleaning solutions do their job:

Many of us are in a rush to get the task complete and do not allow enough time for cleaning solutions to do their job. Take the time to allow these sprays and cleaning solvents to become active after spraying them. By taking the extra time to allow them to do their job it reduces the amount of force you have to expend to wipe and scrub that filth away. Remember, WORK SMARTER NOT HARDER!

Take more time:

Again, most of use would rather take one rainy day to clean our house or rake our yard in one bout because its a task we would prefer not to drag throughout the week.  We have more exciting things to be doing! As a result, many of us end up spending hours on end doing repetitive motions that wear out our shoulders. It is best to disperse our house and yard work into a few weekends or days . If its a task that you need to have completed in a single day, try to take breaks every 1-2 hours to give that shoulder time to rest. This will help prevent overuse and repetitive strain injuries.

Increase the trips:

The thought process of “I only make one trip for bringing my groceries in” is setting you up for injury! As opposed to hanging every grocery bag on your arms, TAKE MORE TRIPS!  We live in a world of trying to accomplish as much as possible in the least amount of time.  This is where we run into injuries. Save the stress through your shoulders by reducing the loads when carrying groceries, bags of leafs and laundry baskets and increase the number of trips to complete the task.

Put these helpful hints to use the next time you plan a full day of cleaning or day of raking and save your shoulder from possible repeated strain injuries!

Happy Fall Everyone!


November 9, 2018 , Posted in Physical Therapy and Sports