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Keeping Pain in Check While Working Outdoors

By Stephen R. Farris

Spring, fall and winter are great seasons for getting outdoors and working in the yard. In the spring there are gardens to till, flowers to plant and grass that needs to be mowed. Fall brings on the beautiful colors of the leaves on trees. However, leaves fall to the ground and either need to be raked up or mulched using your lawnmower. In the winter -- although not really considered "yard work" per se -- there's snow that needs to be shoveled from walkways and drives, along with any leftover chores from the fall.

With all this work during three out of the four seasons, we're constantly moving our arms, using our hands, lifting with our backs and legs and putting a lot of stress on our joints, muscles and ligaments. You may even experience pain in these areas during or after working in your yard.

So here's a few tips and tricks to help you survive working outdoors during these seasons, so you can enjoy your summer time off, so to speak.

Just Like in Sports, You Need to Stretch

Most of the time when we decide to get outdoors and work around the house, our normal thought is to head out to the garage or shed, grab whatever implements we need and jump right into a task. This method also leaves us wide open for injuries to sneak in, such as back, muscle or joint pain and strains. Just like sports, you should do some stretching before starting your tasks for the day. Do stretches that involve your arms, neck, back and legs as these are the primary parts used to perform the tasks you'll be doing.

Dress for Success

Whether it's hot, mild or cold, you should always wear the right types of clothing when working outdoors. Make sure you wear comfortable footwear with arch support. If you're working out in the bright sunlight, wear clothing that will cover exposed skin to prevent sunburn. That includes headwear as well. We all know bald is beautiful these days and your head needs protection just as much as the rest of your body. 

Practice Makes Perfect

Remember to use good posture while doing outdoor work and when lifting, bend with your knees and not your back. Use protective eyewear too, in order to avoid eye injury from any flying debris. 

If you do end up experiencing pain in your back, neck and joints, visit your local chiropractor to let them examine you and set up treatment options to help you return to a normal, healthy and active lifestyle.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Wichita, Kans. 

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