Three secrets to avoiding back pain in the kitchen
You’re scrambling around the kitchen like you’re on a competitive cooking show. The chicken is almost done. Garlic is minced. Veggies are prepped. And that mountain of dishes isn’t going to do itself.
Spending time in the kitchen means spending time on your feet, and that can lead to neck or back pain after cooking — at least without the right technique. Before you dive into cooking your next meal, tape these spine-friendly reminders to your fridge:
Use the right moves
You may not think about the way you’re moving in the kitchen, but bending, lifting and reaching techniques are essential while cooking. Start by keeping your go-to ingredients on a lower shelf to avoid neck strain from reaching too high. Whether you’re lifting a 20-pound turkey out of the oven or popping in a tray of cookies, make sure you lift or bend with your legs instead of your back to reduce strain and chance of injury.
Keep a level head
So maybe “dish neck” isn’t as popular of a term as text neck, but upper back pain while washing dishes can be a similar consequence. Keep in mind, the average person’s head weighs 10 to 12 pounds — and that’s in a neutral position. Leaning your head forward 15 degrees can equate to your neck supporting 27 pounds. Avoid muscle tension while decreasing your risk of cervical spine conditions by keeping your neck as straight as possible when doing dishes.
Share the foodie fun
Putting together the perfect meal isn’t always easy, especially when you’re flying solo in the kitchen. If you’re also battling chronic neck or back pain, recruiting a few helping hands means sharing some of the work while making it fun for everyone. Everyone loves learning secret family recipes, and sharing the activities can also prevent you from placing too much stress on your neck and back while cooking in a social setting can release endorphins that reduce muscle tension. Try sharing recipes with friends, pass them down to family or teach the kids your cooking traditions and techniques.
Being the family chef should be fun, and with these spine health tips, neck or back pain while cooking shouldn’t be on your menu. If a chronic neck or back condition prevents you from having fun in the kitchen or even making it to the grocery store, reach out to Laser Spine Institute to help craft your recipe for relief.