Sorry, I have been away for a little while, but my wife and I have had our house totally re-modeled which required us to move out for two months. Oh, we also took a flight to Paris in the middle of all this too! Anyway, we have been helping our contractors do some of the work and that can be harder than any workout. Of course, I spent time watching the people working and visualizing the muscles that actually allowed them to do what they did. I told you, I am a muscle nerd! I wanted to see how to prevent an injury when I do home maintenance.

The Pros Get Hurt Too

Professional Tradespeople are injured often. Our electrician had to bend her body in difficult positions. Crawling in cabinets, sitting on the floor reaching forward, up on a ladder, working overhead, and twisting of her hands to connect the wires. The plumber was working with pipes, but it similar movement. Our carpenter/drywaller was on a scaffold scraping popcorn off the ceiling, repairing drywall to fix the holes left from changing fixtures, texturing the ceiling, and finally painting it. The tile guy was on his knees stretching forward and placing large square tiles. He used his shoulders to wipe across the tiles to smooth the grout. All of these jobs required them to be in positions, most are rarely in. This will lead to back pain, neck pain, and fatigue.

Climbing Ladders

Climbing ladders can cause back pain and Plantar Fasciitis. Every week we do home maintenance around our houses that can lead to injuries Think about your body when you do these home maintenance jobs to prevent an injury. You climb ladders and work overhead to trim tall bushes or trees. Maybe you have installed a ceiling that left you sore. Going up and down a ladder will cause your hips, front of your thighs, inner thighs, and calf muscles to tighten as they lift your total body weight up each step. This can lead to low back stiffness. While standing on the ladder, looking overhead, they will tighten the back or neck and shoulder stiffness. Furthermore, the abdominal muscles must tighten to stabilize your balance so you won’t fall, resulting in compression on the spine from top to bottom.

Working on Your Knees

Working from your knees while gardening can create back pain. First, most of the contractors use knee pads to soften the pressure on their knee caps to prevent knee pain. When doing any home maintenance you should always use a knee pad to prevent an injury, even if you are on the dirt which is softer. In addition to the pressure on the knee cap is the pressure on the knee from the front of your thighs. These muscles attach below the knee cap which adds additional pressure on the knee joint, as a result, the upper part of the thigh will fatigue and pull your pelvis forward causing low back stiffness. Reaching forward while working on your knees will cause the hamstrings to tighten and may cause stiffness while sitting.

Working with Your Hands

Working with their hands can cause elbow tendonitis, wrist tendonitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, or arthritis in those joints. Twisting or gripping of the hands causes the muscles in your forearm to tighten. There are five muscles on top and five on the bottom of the forearm that allow the opening and closing of your hand and muscles in-between the two bones that allow you to rotate your hand. The gripping of the hand causes these muscles to tighten and get hard. This hardness pulls the joints closer together causes the joint to lose its lubrication and pain occurs. The rotation also increases the hardness which causes the wrist bones to lose their lubrication and increase the pressure on the median nerve in the carpal tunnel of the wrist setting off carpal tunnel syndrome. Arthritis is simply the drying out of the joint and we will discuss that in a later post. For more information check out this post at

Learn How to Prepare Yourself

The key is learning how to prepare yourself before the job. I am always amazed at how many contractors and homeowners, complain about their pain and yet do very little to prepare themselves for home maintenance. Many people do not know how to prepare for yard work or housework. We go out and work all day with little regard for what pain we may encounter. Can you imagine an athlete not preparing for a game, then being surprised if they get injured? These players are preparing all week and still get injuries. Imagine if they did not prepare at all. To properly prepare we must understand areas of the body we will be using. I don’t mean anatomically, but feel which part of your body is being during the movement. For more information go to my website at

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