Summer is coming to an end, the leaves are changing and the chill in the air is signaling the coming fall season. With fall comes a plethora of outdoor chores such as raking, mowing and cleaning gutters; all of which can leave you with nagging neck or back pain if you don’t plan ahead with some fall cleaning tips!
Muscle strains, injuries from repetitive motion, injuries from falling and even tendinitis are all common during the fall cleaning season. These injuries can happen in the blink of an eye so it’s best to stay ahead of the game with some fall cleaning tips from the Lancaster NeuroScience & Spine Associates Team!
Here are a few simple tips from the Lancaster NeuroScience & Spine Associates team to keep you pain free this Fall!
Prevent Back Pain by Warming Up & Stretching
Before you perform any task take a few minutes to warm-up and stretch. With the weather starting to get a bit chilly it is much easier to pull or strain a muscle, so take time to stretch for 5-10 minutes to get your muscles warm and limber. A simple stretch can save you weeks, or even months of nagging neck or back pain due to a strained muscle. Whether you are raking, mowing or cleaning your gutter, be sure to prepare properly.
Sometimes it is the simple tasks that can lead to back pain. Here are a few tips to rake smarter:
- Alternate Sides: Be sure to alternate your grip while raking to ensure you spread the load evenly across your muscles. If you continuously rake with the same setup you are more likely to strain a muscle.
- Use The Right Rake: As silly as it may sound it is important to choose a rake that you can comfortably hold and use. Based on your size you may need to look for a larger or smaller rake to ensure you aren’t straining your muscles.
- Bag Safely: When bagging your leaves make sure you bend at the knees when lifting and pack your bags light enough so you can carry them. Wet leaves can get very heavy so be sure to keep all your bags at a manageable weight. It is better to have 5 small bags that you can move easily, than one huge bag that you can risk straining your back lifting.
A Few More Back Pain Saving Fall Cleaning Tips
- Stay Hydrated: As the weather gets chilly sometimes it is easy to forget to stay hydrated. Make sure you take frequent breaks and drink lots of water. It’s good for your muscles, healthy and reduces the risk of exhaustion.
- Wear Proper Shoes: We are all used to flip-flops and sandals during the summer, but it is very important to wear sneakers or tennis shoes during yard work. It keeps your feet safe while providing adequate support for strenuous activity.
- Climb Carefully: If you need to clean your gutters be sure to use a safe ladder. Also make sure you follow all safety guidelines that are typically posted on the ladder. If possible, it is good to have a spotter as well to ensure you are as safe as possible.
These simple tips will help you prevent common Fall related back pain issues. Preparation is the key to avoiding back pain!
If you would like to schedule an appointment with one of our physicians you can fill out our consultation request form and we’ll get it touch with you to discuss your options