There can often be nothing less enjoyable than having to do the
washing up after a nice relaxing meal but this can be even less
inviting if you suffer from a painful back.
Unfortunately, kitchen surfaces are often not set at the correct
height to suit an individual's needs and frequently people are
working in the kitchen for hours leaning over too much or reaching
up too high.
Re-designing your kitchen to have everything at the perfect
height is usually not an option, so I have compiled the following
tips to hopefully reduce the problems:
- Wear good shoes - Comfortable and supportive
shoes can help to reduce the load in your back by helping the
alignment of the feet and hips and providing some cushioning from
- Using a gel pro mat -
similarly to good shoes, many people report relief
in their back pain using a cushioned gel mat under their feet.
- Change the activity/position - This can be
hard to do if you need to be working on the stove for a while, but
where possible try to change the activity or take regular breaks
from a sustained posture:
- Do the washing up in stages - do something
else in between.
- Open the bottom cupboard and rest a foot on the lower
shelf to offload one side - (usually the affected leg if
you have leg pain).
- Sit down to prepare foods e.g. chopping
- Try a perching stool- periodically leaning
against a high stool can take some pressure off the lower back.
- Use a washing up bowl - If the sink is too low
then it might be an idea to wash the majority of the dishes in a
washing up bowl on the draining board instead of in the sink. This
is usually at a much better height for your lower back.
- Share the load - Cooking or doing the washing
up with your partner or a friend can not only be much more fun but
can also help to reduce the amount of time with your back in a poor
Not all back pain is the same, so seeing a physiotherapist may
help you identify the cause for your pain. They can then provide
you with specific strategies to help manage your pain in the