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The BEST Ways to Prevent Pain While Raking Leaves

 

Picture this:

 

It’s a beautiful fall day outside, perfect for doing some hard work so you grab your rake and get busy.

Fast forward several hours and you’re bed-bound, nursing your back and shoulders while you watch a big gust of wind blow a fresh dusting of leaves on your yard.

Sound familiar?

This doesn’t have to be the case this year!

 

Watch Dr. Rob show you some fun and helpful ways to avoid injury this fall:

Like Dr. Rob said, the best way to not injure yourself raking is to just not do it!

 

Unfortunately not everyone can hire a 65 year old Olympian or swindle their kids into slave labor. So we have a few tips for those of you who fall under that category!

 

Warm up!
Yard work is hard work. It’s classified as moderate physical activity by most health organizations and physical activity requires a warm up. Especially if you’re not normally very active.

A warm up can include a short 10 minute walk and some light stretches to get things moving.

 

Start Slow
While giving it your all and finishing your yard work quickly may sound great, you’re more likely to injure yourself if you rush. Go slow and see how your body responds to the manual labor.
Rake with Good Form!
Keeping your back straight and placing one foot in front of the other can ease the strain on your back. Keep the rake close to you and switch legs and hands often to prevent over using one side. It may feel awkward at first but it only takes a bit of practice.

 

Take lots of Breaks!
Taking breaks and giving your body a chance to recover is one of the best ways to prevent injuries. A quick 10 minute break to go get some water or a snack before getting back to work will have your body thanking you! Try to rest for 10 minutes for every 30 minutes of work.

 

Lift Right:
Yard waste bags can be heavy. When you’er lifting them make sure your back is straight, and always bend your knees. Carry the load close to your body, and avoid heavy lifting immediately after bending or kneeling.

 

Remember, outdoor activities should be fun and not painful! Be safe and try to enjoy the last nice days of fall.

 

Have more questions about raking and yard work? Ask your practitioner at your next appointment!

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