Spring cleaning, house chores - and how not to get hurt doing them

It's that time of the year where the spring cleaning to-do list is long.

You look at the yard. It's messy. The garage. It's messy. You might wonder, 'Can my body handle all this work?'  Well, let's talk to the doctor about that.

Dr. Kristopher Aalderink is an orthopedic surgeon from Trinity Health.

Deena Centofanti: "Before we tackle all these projects, what do we do?"

"I think it's good to prepare your body for the work at hand," he said. "So spending a couple of minutes to stretch, get up, move around, get your muscles warmed up, get your blood flowing just to kind of like warm it up the car engine on a cold day."

Good old calisthenics that we learned in gym class are a good start. Hydration is also key.

"Like with any activity, sports as well, you want to make sure you're hydrated just to kind of make sure your body is at the ability to perform at its peak," said Dr. Aalderink. "And so that can help to prevent injuries, to stay hydrated, and make you feel better as you work."

There is also the challenge of taking breaks. Many of us start a project and don't want to stop until it is done.

"Guilty," the doctor quipped. "I totally understand that mindset. You just want to get it done, work through it. But I think it's important to stop and listen to your body.

"If things start to ache a little bit, get stiff, get sore, take a few minutes, sit down, enjoy the scenery, look around. Just give your body a chance to reboot."

If you're doing some kind of home painting and it starts to really hurt. What happens if you don't take a rest, can you do some real damage there?

"Most of the time it's probably not going to lead to severe damage," he said. "But in general, yes, it's possible. So I think again, taking that time to stop, rest, maybe put some ice on it, use some medication over the counter to take away the pain or help with the inflammation, can really help prevent worsening injuries."

And then if it doesn't get better you might need to go and see a doctor.

"I would say if it's not getting better, if it's starting to affect your ability to do other things in your life, if you're having pain at night, give us a call at Trinity Health Medical Group," he said, "Many of us are there to help make sure these injuries get better and don't turn into something worse."