Yard Work is Hard Work: Tips for Avoiding Injury
By Dr. Molly Casey
It’s that time of year! Leaves, gardening, tree trimming, you name it. As the seasons are cyclical, so is the stress we put on our spine and body. Let me help you keep your spine safe and functioning optimally during those long beautiful yard work days this spring and beyond. Prevention is the best approach!
Before you begin any extended periods of outdoor work (more than 30 minutes) prepare with a five- to 10-minute warmup. A combination of slow, bigger body movements and stretching is a great start. Some simple yet very effective tools for you include body squats, hamstring stretches, shoulder exercises (and another one here), and spine rotation for the back.
The truth is that there are so many folks who come to the chiropractic office on Monday after a weekend of yard work and they are in a significant amount of pain. Can you relate?
Aside from not warming up, one of the next biggest mistakes is extended periods of time with no rest. It’s easy to lose track of time because you’re so focused on finishing the yard but that does nothing for the health of your spine or your pain levels.
Make sure that about every 15 minutes you are stopping the same repetitive motion and moving your body in a different way. This means if you’re consistently raking and rotated to the left, stop to do a simple body squat, take a drink of water, and when you restart, rake rotated to the right.
Every hour make sure you take a 10-minute break. Cap the number of hours you do total throughout the day based on your fitness and health levels.
Being able to perform these daily activities of living require that your spine is as healthy as possible. If you wish to not have significant repercussions after the fact, your spinal joints must move as fluidly through their full range of motion for optimal flexibility, mobility and nervous system communication. Chiropractic adjustments provide proper spinal joint motion that helps lead to increased flexibility, mobility, proper muscle activity and nervous system communication. The chiropractic adjustment is a weapon in your arsenal. Use it. Ideally, get your spine checked and adjusted prior to and after your long stints of yard work weekends! Weekly adjustments help ensure that you’re almost always in optimal condition for work and play.
Come see us at The Joint Chiropractic and let us help you and your spine through this spring season of yard work!
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