Pain Free Yard Work

by Dr. Lisa DeCoste, DPT, OCS


It’s that time of the year again! The days are shorter, and the weather is changing. The yellow, red, and orange leaves were once a thing of beauty, but now they are an eyesore covering your yard. Its time to break out the rake, but you don’t have to break your back by doing so.


Watch the video below and continue reading for all the tips you need to ensure a day of pain-free yard work this fall.


Spread it out

Yard work can leave your body overworked, and if you try to get everything done in one day, it could lead to an injury. So, plan ahead, and spread your outdoor tasks over a long weekend. You may want to get everything done as fast as possible, but your body sure doesn’t.


Breaks

Along with spreading out your work over a few days, spread it out over a few hours. Keep a chair close by and sit down for a few minutes every time you're feeling overworked and tired.


Rakes 

Make sure you are buying the proper rake. Rakes come in many different sizes, and you want to get one that is right for you. Not so big that you can’t manage it, but also not too small, making you bend over every time you move it.


Propper Form

Propper form is very important when it comes to yard work. While raking, you want to keep your stomach tight to help tighten your core. Keep the rake close to your body to ensure you're not stretching out too far and straining your back.  Also, try switching the rake from side to side, that way you’re not always putting all your weight, and pressure, on one side. When it comes to picking up the leaves, be sure to plant your feet shoulder-width apart, and bend from the knees and hips, keeping your core tight.


Check out this helpful video for more raking tips!


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