We see more injuries from spring and fall yard clean up than winter snow removal. As your clearing out your gardens, pruning trees, raking leaves and even shoveling the occasional early snow fall. it’s important to follow safe back care during your yard clean up. Here are some tips to help you keep your back feeling great during what could be “back breaking” chores.
See your Chiropractor for a spinal adjustment prior to doing strenuous yard work. A spine in good alignment is your best tool when tackling tough yard work.
Stretch, arms, legs, neck and back before you head outside. This warms the muscles and prepares them for the work ahead.
Pace yourself and take your time with heavy items or stubborn weeds and plants. It is important to take breaks often when doing long stretches of yard work.
Lift with your arms, legs and back as one unit bending at the knees.
Rest and regroup when you’re starting to feel tired. Remember, taking a break helps keep you from overworking which is just as important as getting the job done.
Stay well hydrated. Dehydrated muscles are more prone to injury. Taking that needed break while hydrating is important.
Maintaining good posture while mowing, raking or shoveling. Good posture can also prevent back problems. Taking a break is a good idea too!
Take the pressure off your back using the “scissor” stance when raking. Put your right foot forward and left foot back, then reverse after a few minutes. Don’t forget to take breaks, it’s important!
Start or continue strengthening your core muscules and increase aerobic activity to lessen the chance of straining your low back.
If you didn’t catch it above, TAKING BREAKS is very important. Taking a 10 minute break once per hour to stretch/recover/hydrate will go a long way in preventing back injuries.
You may still feel stiff and sore the day after doing a lot of yard work, ice to soothe the discomfort. If there is no improvement in your aches and pains within 48 hours, call us for an appointment. Chiropractic treatments are highly effective in treating muscle pain (remember your spine and nerves control your muscles) and will get your back and you feeling good.