How to Keep Your Lawn and Your Back Healthy!
By Sara Butler
Yard work is something some people love, and others loathe, but no matter which camp you fit into it’s something that always has to get done. Yard work should be viewed as any other physical activity and because of that, there are some things your chiropractor wants you to remember in order to protect your health as well as your back and neck while you’re toiling away in your yard. Here are some chiropractic tips to help you stay healthy in your lawn and garden.
Do You Have Back Pain?
If you suffer from a stiff neck or back after working out in your yard, you’re not alone. Leaf blowers, rakes, weed trimmers, lawn mowers, tillers and hedge clippers can be a cause of back and neck pain, especially if you use these things the wrong way. These tools for lawn care can lead you right into the clutches of a repetitive injury. That’s right, improper use of gardening equipment can lead to muscle sprains, strains, and even tears.
Tips for Healthy Lawn Care
If you’re thinking that the only fun part of lawn care is the heavy machinery you get to use, don’t worry! You can still have fun using them while avoiding back pain by following just a few simple tips. You should:
- Use lawn care equipment with a shoulder strap – This will help you to balance the weight of the machinery better and lower the risk of strain or sprain while using it. Just put the strap over your head and shoulder and anchor it on the shoulder on the opposite side of the body you'll be holding the equipment with.
- Switch sides frequently – Doing this will help to balance out the muscles you are using and lower your chance of a repetitive injury. Also, make sure you frequently change up the way you’re standing, as well as the motion you are using with the equipment.
- Take breaks regularly – At least once an hour make sure to take a break to stretch and get yourself a cool glass of water in order to stay hydrated.
- Try an electric trimmer – When you buy or rent tools for use in your garden, you should look for electric equipment because it is usually lighter than gas powered equipment.
- Bend at the knees, not the back – Just as you would with anything else, when you lift up equipment or set it down, do not bend at the waist. Instead, use your legs and hips to bend and lift and keep what you are holding as close to your body as you can.
If you ever experience pain after working in your yard, come into The Joint as soon as you can in order to get checked out. Remember, you don’t need an appointment!