Fibro Daily

Housecleaning: What a Pain

Fibro Daily September 22, 2016

180229053_dusters-house-cleaning-supplies-tools-vintage-1930apossFor those with Fibromyalgia, housecleaning presents an array of problems and potential pitfalls. Besides actual injuries that occur due to poor conditioning and/or chronic pain postures, housecleaning agony and exhaustion might result in a fibro flare.

Sometimes, fibromyalgia house cleaning pain displays as

  • neck soreness
  • back pain
  • glute pain
  • sciatica
  • tender points
  • and the list goes on and on.

    The following tips help fibromyalgia patients prevent housecleaning injuries and fibro flares.

    Stay Stocked

    Fibro fog hinders organization and coping mechanisms. It also heightens emotions. Treat housecleaning as a to-do-list not just of chores that need to be done, but prep that needs to be done in order to clean.

    Every two weeks, perform a “stock check”. This lessens the stress of having to itemize, buy, and transport everything in one day. If living in a multi-level home, buy items for each floor then stock each floor with the needed supplies.

    Secure Transport

    Find a way to transport the items you need from room to room. A small buggy or suitcase that rolls eases the strain of carrying heavy or awkwardly shaped items. A flat handle cart or a utility bus cart also work. Even a child’s wagon offers a way to store and haul needed supplies.

    Another plus for this type of transport is it allows storage of everything in one place, minus tools like vacuum cleaners. Everything in one place means there’s no need to run around the house looking for this spray or that sponge. If needed, ask for help putting the rolled storage/transport units on each floor in multi-level homes.

    Take Your Time

    Pace slowly, without rushing. This means planning. Stick to a calendar so daily life runs much smoother and so events such as family visits never arrive as a surprise (unless the “big events” forget to call, that is!) As the event approaches, write down an itinerary of what must be done in the house.

    If an unplanned guest arrives, remain calm. Explain that fibromyalgia factors into the situation and it’s hard for you to throw things together at the last minute. Maybe if you put the guests to work, they won’t arrive unannounced next time. But honestly, I wouldn’t sweat such events too much. You can keep clean sheets in a room and if someone arrives because of an emergency (perfectly understandable) or unnannounced, the sheets are near the bed and ready to go. That’s enough.

    Seek Assistance

    If the item or task is too big or awkward for any of the aforementioned solutions then again, ask for help. If you live alone or with people who are too busy or ill to help, consider bringing in a professional. If the cost for that proves daunting, hire a dependable amateur. Put up a sign at the grocery store or post an ad online.

    However you manage the hiring process, do a thorough background check before hiring . Also, clarify what you need in terms of service. Better safe than sorry.

    Specific Pointers

    Beds: Wash the bed sheets then make up the bed right away to avoid having to fold sheets. Select sheets that stretch with ease so there’s no struggle when fitting them to the bed. Use big, light comforters that can be placed on the bed without much fuss, and place a few rolled blankets into a basket at the foot of the bed in case anyone needs extra coverage.

    Clothes: Folding laundry offers a good chance to do some light stretching. Do a little of that when folding bigger items such as towels. However, if there’s a lot of laundry to fold, pay attention to posture. Pain problems that derive from folding clothes often result from the forward lean; it throws off the natural alignment and puts extra pressure on the neck. Put the basket on a table that is level with the upper body to avoid bending over to get items to fold. Sit with back support and keep the head, neck, and shoulders level. Use a flat surface to place the clothes on, and fold clothes on that surface instead of holding and folding them mid-air. Consider lessening laundry loads to one a day, and also try to buy clothes that won’t wrinkle and can be hung in a closet.

    Dishes: Whether via dishwasher or dishwashing, dishes can cause pain. Again, posture proves essential to staying strong in the body. When loading the dishwasher, teamwork helps cut down on possible injuries. That’s because the person handing off the dishes to be loaded avoids straining. When loading the dishwasher alone, put the dishes in a safe container that you can place on your lap or on the floor, which ever works better for you. Then sit down on a comfy big floor pillow right in front of the open dishwasher, place the container in the desired position, and load the dishes into the dishwasher. Do not lean forward with arms outstretched. Such a hard push forward will cause pain and injury in most cases. Rather, pull each dish rack out as far as possible then load the dishes. If washing dishes, read this link for the best dishwashing tip ever.

    Furniture: Buy extendable, high-reach dusters for hard to reach spots to prevent climbing on ladders or bending into uncomfortable positions to get under the bed or behind spots like the dresser. Consider shifting weight. This chore wrecks havoc on chemically snesitive people and those with allergies so make sure to use safe cleaning supplies as well as a mask to cover the mouth and nose if easily irritated by dust or cleaning products. Pump sprays and microfiber clothes found in damp dust cleaning methods cut down on irritation.

    Floor: Find a light vacuum that doesn’t require a lot of effort to move. Some vacuums operate on their own which may be an option for those who can afford it. Long handled floor dusters work wonders under the furniture and they help prevent bending into awkward positions. Avoid reaching forward with arms while bending at the waist; try these floor cleaning tips instead.

    Bathroom: Consider wearing a mask to avoiding breathing problems and take breaks for fresh air. Run the exhaust fan. Sit on the side of the tub to avoid contorting into weird positions. Use a long handled scrubber to clean the tub, walls, and glass doors. Sit in front of the toilet on a chair or small stool to clean the bowl. Use a long handled duster to clean behind the toilet and on the bottom sides. Give these bathroom cleaning tips a try, too.

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