If you’re suffering from chronic pain, it’s easy enough to stay away from activities that cause flare ups or additional pain. Maybe you won’t play sports or go for a jog, but one thing that you can’t avoid – cooking in your own kitchen. Making dinner for your family may not seem like a strenuous activity, but when you are suffering from chronic back or shoulder pain, it can be. Here at Oahu Spine & Rehab in Kailua we see patients every day that are suffering from chronic pain or conditions like rheumatoid arthritis that struggle to get through simple day to day activities.
While in the kitchen, not only are you constantly bending and lifting, but you’re not paying attention to your body’s movements because it’s second nature. People who suffer from shoulder/neck pain can get flare ups from small movements like holding a pan above a burner, or even simply eating with chopsticks. Here are some great kitchen hacks to avoid hurting yourself further while in the kitchen.
Avoid bending down and reaching up. One great idea is to get a toaster or toaster oven to use at counter level to avoid bending down to open the oven while possibly holding heavy dishes. Another great way to avoid unnecessary bending is to hang your pots and pans in your kitchen. Gone are the days of crawling into your lower cabinet looking for the lid to your pots! Hang your most used pots and pans above your stove in the kitchen for easy access.
Choose your kitchen tools wisely. Lucky you, in 2016 there are thousands of cooking gadgets available to be easier on your joints and muscles during cooking. By getting ergonomic cooking utensils, you will be using your body weight to chop and slice, instead of just your wrists. Invest in two handles pots and pans so that the weight gets evenly distributed when carrying large pots from the stove.
Another popular and handy tool that can save you a lot of time are hand mixers. Gone are the days of whisking and hand mixing! Mixing can be one of the most painful activities for those with neck and shoulder pain because of the small repetitive motions. An electric hand mixer can keep you from flaring up or agitating your muscles.
A few other tips and tricks include: filling your pots up with water with a measuring cup, cooking large portions to avoid chopping and slicing every day, use electronic jar and can openers, and be aware of your movements and how you could strain yourself during your meal prep. Here at OSR, our integrated health center is staffed with doctors and therapists of multiple specialties in order to help our patients have the highest quality of life as possible. If you or someone you know suffers from chronic pain, call us today at 488-5555 to set up your complimentary consultation.