While people are normally more active in the Summer, Fall brings lots of yard work that can cause or make your existing back pain worse. Using good ergonomic tools and paying attention to your body’s biomechanics is important.
Fortunately, there are well designed, ergonomic rakes available for those sunny Fall days when you get out and get fresh air while clearing the yard for Winter. Be sure to:
- Drink plenty of water
- Take frequent breaks to rest your back and relax
- Bend at the hips and knees, not your lower back
- Get friends and family involved and make the “chore” social and fun
- Be sure to warm up before raking by walking or doing calisthenics with your arms and legs
- Do gentle stretching of your arms and lower back after raking, open up the hips too
- Don’t twist your body while trying to reach for those leaves “just over there”
Are you putting your garden to bed, pruning, clearing gutters?
- Protect your back pain by bending with your knees rather than your back – be sure to use whatever method feels best for your knees
- Don’t twist while pulling plants from the garden
- Be careful not to over-reach if pruning
- Be safe if you are working from a ladder
No matter what kind of work you are doing, if something hurts more than a little, listen to your body. The pain is telling you to stop and take care of yourself.
If you find that you are sore after your yard work, ice packs can help bring down the swelling and bring relief. A warm, relaxing bath with epsom salts is also a nice reward at the end of the day and a good way to relax muscles that may contribute to the back pain.
In the end, congratulate yourself for a job well done. The fresh air will help you sleep and there is nothing like physical work to make you feel good, as long as you don’t overdo it.
After a day or two, if you still have pain from the work you did, please contact us and we will take a look to see if something beyond sore muscles is causing the pain.