Fall Activities Can Be a Pain in the Back
By Sara Butler
It may not be something you want to give too much thought to right now, but fall is just around the corner. That means it’ll be time for cozy sweaters, pumpkin spice and falling leaves before you know it – emphasis on the falling leaves. No matter what your fall traditions entail, you have to remember to protect your back and be mindful of the ways in which you can injure your back during the season. Here are a few tips to keep your back safe this fall.
When You Rake Leaves
Maybe you really like raking leaves, or maybe you consider it something akin to the third circle of Dante’s Inferno. However you feel about it, you need to remember a few things to make sure you’re raking right. All that reaching, bending, standing and carrying can be strenuous on your back. When you begin raking this fall, remember to:
- Take breaks often.
- Do gentle stretches every 30 minutes or so.
- Stop if you feel sharp pain
- Lift with your legs and hips, never your back.
- Carry small loads instead of heavy, large ones.
Picking Apples and Pumpkins!
Many people love fall because apples and pumpkins come into season, and if going apple or pumpkin picking is one of your family traditions, you should take special care to protect your back during this activity. Make sure you:
- Lift correctly when picking up heavy pumpkins or crates of apples.
- Ask for help lifting that prize-winning, gigantic pumpkin.
- Loosen up before you start with some light stretching.
Hikes in the Fall
There’s no time like the fall for a hike simply because the changing leaves are so beautiful. If you plan on taking advantage of the fall colors and go hiking, make sure you do it safely. If you’re going on a long hike you should be sure to bring a backpack stocked with items for your hike, including snacks, water, and first-aid supplies. Don’t forget that you should wear a backpack with padded, wide straps that fit you well and you should never load it with more than 10 percent of your body weight.
Also, don’t forget to do some light stretching and warm-up exercises before you get going so you reduce your risk of injury.
Fall may be the harbinger of winter, but there is a lot to enjoy in the season. Just make sure you keep your back in mind as you enjoy the splendors of fall, and don’t forget to see your chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic regularly.