We all need our clothes ironed, at least some of the clothes. Some hopefully get rid of this task, either thanks to a loved one or an employee who does. This post is for all those who have to iron from time to time and do not want to suffer back and neck pain. Ironing can be harmful to both the lower back and neck, for different reasons. Let’s talk about it separately.
Iron and Back Pain
The lower back area suffers while we iron for two reasons:
– Firstly, the lumbar area does not like us to maintain a fixed posture for a long time and standing is one of the least recommended. The posterior muscles of the lower back become tired after a while standing in the same posture. With these tired muscles the balance of the vertebrae is lost and the discs, ligaments and joints begin to suffer.
– Secondly, when we take a weight as the iron our center of gravity moves forward increasing tension on the lower back and demanding more effort to muscles. This is even worse if we also tilt the body forward while ironing.
– Avoid professional plates that weigh a lot (the professionals use mechanisms that help to load with the weight of the iron but at home we load it to pulse). It is better to have a light iron and it will also be cheaper.
– Iron with the body near the ironing board and avoid leaning forward. The further we move, the more we will have to stretch our arm and the more advanced our center of gravity will be.
– There are several tricks we can use to decrease the pressure on the lower back. One way is to iron sitting on a tall stool although it can sometimes hamper the work. Another way is to place a small stool where to raise a foot (we can go alternating feet every several minutes). Another way is to iron with the back near a wall and support our weight in it while we iron.
– We must take breaks. It is not good to fall into the temptation of beating ourselves to take away all the accumulated iron. The ideal is to iron for 10-15 minutes maximum and sit down to watch the TV about 3 minutes before continuing with the iron. By doing these breaks our muscles will hold out much more.
Iron and neck pain
The neck also suffers from ironing. What is crucial for the neck are two things:
– First, the weight of the iron, as we have already discussed. Better a simple iron and weighing little. For professional ironing we already have the dry cleaning.
– The second important point is the height of the ironing board. The worst thing for the neck is that the board is very high because then we will have to raise the arm a lot and the neck muscles should work twice as hard. The table should be as low as possible so that the arm is stretched down in a comfortable posture, so that the elbow is close to the body (as in the photo of the post). But we must be careful that he is not too low so he does not have to lean his back forward.