We are currently seeing a lot of folk coming into the clinic telling us that they're decorating their homes. There are a number of factors which are important here and so we wanted to share some hints and tips with you for looking after yourself while you're sanding and cutting in.
Decorating isn't something that can be done quickly. A rush job never looks great and you'll be kicking yourself until you get around to doing it in another ten years so take your time. Don't try and do it all in a day and end up working through until midnight to get the job done. Pace yourself and be realistic in your timescales.
If you have back or neck or shoulder issues, talk to your therapist before you start decorating rather than after. They'll be able to offer some advice about how to approach things and if there are any specific movements you need to avoid. Certain neck and lower back injuries for instance are hugely exacerbated by roller painting ceilings. It's a very specific, repetitive motion that overloads certain vulnerable areas of your spine.
So here are some hints for you in the home. Remember, if anything hurts, or you feel something go 'ping', then stop what you're doing. Don't try and push through pain, it is there for a reason and we should all listen to our bodies.
1. Take regular rests. Decorating is repetitive, and can irritate backs, necks and shoulders. Try and have a break from what you're doing and don't do the same thing for more than half an hour before varying your activity or having a tea break. Admire your work at regular intervals.
2. Think about your position. Decorating often calls for us to be in odd positions for sustained periods. Painting skirting boards, especially in corners, involves certain contusions worthy of a circus act. Take care and be comfortable and watch your knees too.
3. Remember you have two arms. As silly as this sounds, you can roller paint a wall with both arms, but people forget. If you're right handed, give your dominant side a rest and swap hands.
4. Always use a roller pole for ceilings. You can cover a larger area and work in front of you rather than rollering over head and over extending your back and neck.
5. Share the load. If you are decorating with a partner, swap jobs every so often. Do a bit of woodwork, and then a bit of rollering.
6. Move your legs. You'll be amazed how much you can move by just transferring your weight from one leg to the next rather than bending your back to get where you want to be. Try it and see.
7. Keep the room well ventilated and stay well hydrated yourself. Being in a confined space full of paint fumes does nobody any good.
8. If you hurt, stop. Don't keep plodding through to the finish line or you could do yourself more harm than good. Take a break, do something different and maybe stop for the day.
9. Stretch your hamstrings and calf muscles and your back gently when you're finished.
If you sustain an injury and feel more than just the aches and pains of a good day's work when you've been decorating, then we are here to help you. We can offer treatment, advice and exercises to keep you fit and well. Call us now to book a FREE15 minute consultation with any of our team on 01438 364652.