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Posted on 05-16-2017

avoiding back injury during yard work

Spring season is here, which means so is yard work season. Every time you look at your yard it serves as a constant reminder of all the work that needs to be done as warmer temperatures descend upon us. For many of us, we handle our yard maintenance duties by devoting the first Saturday we have free to an all-day, marathon yard work session.

While this always sounds good in theory, it can also lead to many health issues down the line — mainly aches and pains in our shoulders, backs, and various joints. Before you dive into your yard work make sure to follow some easy tips that can help prevent those days after aches and pains.

Stretch/Warm Up

I know it sounds silly to say you should warm up before yard work;. stretching is what you do before you run a marathon or play basketball. It doesn’t sound like something you do before you mow the lawn or pull weeds from the garden, but it can save your body. Taking a few minutes to stretch and loosen up your body before your yard work adventure ensures that you aren’t couch-bound for the days following.

Take Breaks

Once you begin your endeavor into the madcap world of weekend yard work, it can be very tempting to push yourself to get it all done in one day, working yourself beyond the point of exhaustion. One of the reasons this happens is because we’ve already devoted a weekend day to this task, and the last thing we want to do is give up more of our free time on yard work. Taking breaks may elongate the task at hand, but in the long run, your body will thank you for taking a few minutes every hour or so to grab a drink of water and to rest. It’s always better to play the long game instead of the short game when it comes to your body.

Use Proper Techniques

know it is cliche to say “left with your legs and not your back” but you know why it’s so cliche? Because it’s true. Lifting with your legs and properly bending at your knees is a lifesaver for your back. It prevents unnecessary strain, thus preventing future aches and doctor visits. Also, make sure to use carts or wheelbarrow when moving debris or tools. I know it’s common to go full grocery-store mode and try to carry everything in one trip, but doing that will result in more harm than good. No one thinks less of you for making multiple trips.

Your chiropractor is a great resource for preventing any of the injuries that your body could suffer from yard work. They’ll be able to develop customized exercises that you can work into your routine to less the risk of injury. Some of the more common injuries associated with yard work are shoulder soreness/stiffness, back strains, tendinitis, and even tendon ruptures. Many times these injuries and symptoms won’t present themselves until a day or so after the initial work, and even showing up while your body is resting. It’s important to work with your chiropractor to do as much as you can to limit the damage done to your body. After all, you only get one body and need to make sure you take proper care of it.

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