Housework often involves bending over and picking up objects, which could lead to injuries. Lifting is a common activity.

SINGAPORE – For housewives, who clean their homes often, lifting objects such as furniture and flower pots can cause injuries if they do not do it correctly. A bad lifting or bending posture is one where the spine is kept in a rounded C-shaped posture, with the knees straight, said Ms Lim Ting Jun, a physiotherapist at Changi Sports Medicine Centre at Changi General Hospital.

Most housewives perform lifting and bending activities in this posture because they feel it helps them to save time and that it is easier to do work in this manner, she added. However, in a rounded C-shaped posture, the spine is loaded unevenly. Thus, more pressure is placed on the intervertebral discs in the lower back. The intervertebral disc is the cushion which separates two bone segments, or vertebrae, of the spine. They are an important structure within the spine. They help to transmit forces between the lower limbs and the torso and spread the compressive load through the spine evenly, explained Mr Wesley Chee Wai Siong, a physiotherapist at the Singapore Sports Medicine Centre at Novena Medical Centre.

Excessive pressure to the intervertebral disc, when in a rounded C-shaped posture, loads the discs in the lower back unevenly and can lead to changes to its structure. As a result, the disc is unable to transmit loads through it normally.