I get asked all the time, how my back just went out when I tried to pick up a paper clip or just getting the laundry out of the dryer? Well, the answer is very simple and also very complicated as well as to how your body let this happen.
So here is the long and short answer. You should be able to do all these activities with ease, without difficulty and no possibility of flareups. What has occurred is that you have allowed your body to improperly adapt and compensate by doing the same thing over and over again without ever changing certain mechanics causing poor body dynamics which developed spinal dysfunction. What you've also done is allow muscular weaknesses and compensations to occur in your back muscles. This is caused by not actively stretching, exercising, changing and adapting you're normal sitting and standing postures that you have to do a continual daily basis at home and work. This weakness occurs when your body is not forced to either change, adapt or progressively improve through either an active flexibility, range of motion or resistance exercise program.
Your spine and body wants and needs continual changes in either dietary intake, exercises, and normal daily activities. If you don't change and modify these activities in your daily routine, your body gets lazy, stagnant and becomes weak and then results in a very simple and regular movement that you do every day that will cause your body/spine to go out of alignment. It is my recommendation that you try to do these activities of daily living (vacuuming, folding laundry, lifting etc.) not only on your dominant side, but also on your less dominate side. Try to swing a golf club from the other side, getting laundry out a different way, unload dishwasher differently and even vacuuming with the other side/arm.
When you are doing these normal and simple daily activities, this will not only increase your ability to prevent injuries, but also allow your body to adapt, become stronger, more balanced and change in a good way and not compensate into a weakness that may cause a flareup, pain or even an injury. I do feel that whatever activity you are doing, whether it is yardwork, cleaning the house, getting dishes out of dishwasher, folding laundry or exercising, the more variety that you can have in this activity will prevent your body from developing weaknesses overtime and cause injury. So as I've always said “variety is the spice of life and health” so continually try to change and modify what you do in your daily life routine whether it's a normal activity an activity of daily living or something you do at work, try to make it a little bit different every time so your body is a little confused and has to adapt which will make you stronger in the end. Thanks for reading, Dr. Joe