Max Hirshmann
By: Max Hirshmann
Date: 28/08/2017

Don’t overdo the DIY!

Are you thinking about doing some DIY this weekend? Whether you’re planning on a spot of re-painting, or doing slightly more laborious work, here’s why you should take care whilst doing DIY.

Did you know it is estimated that there are approximately 200,000 DIY accidents each year in the UK.[1] Although being active around the home can help your overall fitness levels – along with saving you a bit of money – it is always important to ensure you are not over stretching, which in turn could lead to injury.

DIY accidents can easily happen, yet are easily avoided with a bit of forward planning and self-awareness. We’ve asked Max Hirshmann, chiropractor at London Wellness Centres, to give us a few tips and tricks to stop those aches and pains during your renovations.

So how do you prepare to do DIY safely?

  • Make sure you are wearing comfortable, loose fitting, clothes that won’t restrict your movement.
  • Do some basic stretches before you start. This will help to loosen up your muscles to ensure that you don’t sprain yourself while working.
  • Set yourself an achievable goal – Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither should your renovation!
  • Make sure you take plenty of breaks to relax, stretch and keep hydrated.
  • Vary your activity and try to spend no more than 20-30 minutes on any one thing.
  • Make sure you’re not twisting yourself – this can place excess pressure on your spine and back muscles which could lead to an injury.
  • If you’re painting a wall, keep moving the ladder rather than stretching across. Always make sure you’re directly facing the area in question.
  • If you are painting the ceiling use a paint pad or roller with an extended handle and hold it at chest height.

Tips for lifting correctly:

DIY and home improvements often require a lot of heavy lifting and bending – this can be where a major proportion of DIY injuries manifest.

  • Work out how much you can feasibly lift, and don’t go beyond your limit. It’s all too tempting to do ‘get the job done’, but this can be where slack muscles and poor form can lead to problems.
  • If you are lifting or carrying a heavy load, ensure your legs are hip width apart and your knees are bent.
  • Make sure that both your head and shoulders are directly above your waist and keep whatever you’re carrying as close to you as possible.
  • Both your head and shoulders should be directly above your waist and keep whatever you’re carrying as close to you as possible
  • Don’t lift with your arms straight out, keep your elbows bent and to your side to minimise the stress on your lower back
  • Avoid bending from the waist as this could lead to a risk of painful strains and injuries to the lower back. Instead, crouch down and bend from the knees.

These are just a few tips and suggestions to add to your DIY arsenal of self-care. It’s easy to become consumed in your renovation activities, but ignoring your telltale signs of aches and niggles can cause bigger problems further down the line. If a muscle starts to twinge or you have a dull ache, stop and rest. Don’t exert yourself! Yes, the kitchen or garden may take slightly longer to spruce up, but at least you will be pain free.

For more information on how we can help you with your musculoskeletal health, or should you be suffering from aches and pains post-DIYing, get in touch with us at www.thisislondonwellness.com or email info@thisislondonwellness.com.

[1] http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1517089/200000-injured-every-year-in-DIY-accidents.html