Well it's October, and while the temperature gauge doesn't really indicate it, fall is here. Soon the weather will be getting cooler. Sweaters, Boots, and Football will be in full swing (football is definitely already here 🏈) With the cooler weather comes the 🍂🍁 leaves changing 🍁🍂 to beautiful hues of yellow, orange and red. But when the time is right, those leaves find themselves off the tree and into your yard. They don't pick up themselves...enter raking!
Fall and winter activites, specifically leaf raking (and later in colder climates, snow shoveling) present challenges. These activities can place excessive strain and stress on the spine.
Did You Know? - Leaf Raking caused 38,000 injuries in 2018 alone!
So why is something as simple as raking leaves or shoveling snow so hard on us to the point of injury?? Well consider a few factors that could cause issues:
💭Ignoring warning signs
💭Improper Attire (like footwear)
💭Using the wrong equipment 💭Imbalance
Any of these factors can make a simple task and turn it into a pain in the neck (or back 🤣). So how can you make sure these tasks are done properly without hurting yourself? Here are 5 things to keep in mind to prevent seasonal injuries:
It's so easy to overlook this simple but very effective action. Stretching loosens the muscles and ligaments, promotes sufficient blood flow, and allows for the maximum range of motion to perform your activity to the best of your individual ability.
2) MAINTAIN PROPER POSTURE
Shoveling and raking have proper techniques believe it or not. How do you maintain proper posture during these activities? Maintain an upright position and avoid twisting as much as possible. If you have to bend, do so from the knee and NOT the back. Having the proper equipment can also help promote proper posture. Ever used a tool that was too short or long? How about too small or too large? So make sure to choose an appropriate sized shovel or rake.
3) TAKE FREQUENT BREAKS
This one seems simple, but make sure not to over-exert yourself. If you start to feel fatigued, LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. A little fatigue is normal of course, but monitoring the level of fatigue you are experiencing is key. Make sure to have water available and within reach. If you are feeling a bit woozy take a short break. Have a seat, drink a favorite beverage (water is best) and then get back to work. Repeat as necessary.
4) RAKING TIPS
-Be sure to not over-reach. Use small manageable strokes
-If a bag is too heavy to comfortably carry, ask a friend to help. Don't carry it by yourself.
5) SHOVELING TIP
- Be sure to push the snow, do not lift and dump.
- Push small, manageable areas a time. Don't overload the shovel.
Of course you can't control the outcome of everything. Sometimes things happen and we get hurt. If you are dealing with back pain or neck pain as a result of seasonal activities, do not hesitate to see your Chiropractor. They can give you the non-invasive, natural care you need to get back to living your best life - a life FREE of pain.
Want to know if Chiropractic can get you out of pain? Call us at 803-932-9399 or find out what our current promotion is HERE.