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Protecting the Spine in the Yard This Fall

By Debra Rodzinak

Even though the weather is turning cooler, yard work does not stop.  Raking leaves, mowing, and preparing beds for winter are all fall chores that can lead to back pain and discomfort.  The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) provides some tips for protecting the back and spine from pain, strain, and injury.

Fall Yard Work Tips

The twisting, bending, and turning performed during yard work can lead to injury if the body is not prepared.  To protect the body against pain and strain, follow these simple yard work tips:

  • Wear the proper footwear that provides good arch support
  • When mowing or raking, stand up straight
  • Avoid the heat by working in the morning or late afternoon
  • When raking, stand with one foot slightly forward and switching out after a few minutes
  • When picking up leaves or equipment, bend at the knees and lift with the legs
  • Keep hydrated by drinking plenty of water before, during, and after yard work

Outdoor Equipment Usage Tips

Many homeowners invest thousands of dollars in yard equipment to keep their yards looking like a showplace.  However, if this equipment is not used correctly, the body and especially the back can pay the price.  The ACA warns that improper use of any piece of equipment can lead to back and neck pain.  Following these tips can help homeowners stay safe and productive:

  • Use the straps provided on equipment to provide a center of gravity when using the piece of equipment
  • Switch sides often when operating a piece of equipment to balance the muscles used
  • Invest in ergonomic tools that are engineered to protect the back
  • If using a push mower, use all of the muscles in the body, especially the legs
  • Bend the knees when starting a pull-cord mower instead of bending over at the waist
  • Rest frequently to avoid muscle fatigue which can lead to injury
  • Before beginning any type of exercise, stretch the muscles completely by performing warming up exercises

Chiropractic Aftercare

If you find that you are sore or have injuries after performing yard work, come by The Joint and let one of our highly qualified doctors of chiropractic treat your ailments.  Trained in treating musculoskeletal problems, the doctors at The Joint work with patients to create a path to wellness that focuses on the patient’s individual needs without the use of drugs or surgery.  With no pesky insurance forms to fill out or appointment times to remember, finding relief for your overworked muscles and joints is easy and stress-free.


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