Now that we are finally having some decent weather, many of us are just starting our yard clean up. Raking grass can be a lot of fun but unfortunately on occasion we can experience injury as a result of a lot of raking.
With repetitive bending to reach over and rake, back and shoulder injuries can ensue. These injuries can be a real set back when it comes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. In order to prevent injury follow these simple useful tips:
1. Gentle warm up prior to activity. Some gentle back bends and trunk rotation stretches can warm up muscles so that they are “ready” for the activity. take 2-3 minutes of slowly flexing, extending and rotating your trunk while seated or standing to warm up.
2. Evaluate the amount of work, and divide up by completing over several days or by finding some helpers up for the task.
3. Take frequent breaks in activity. Every 5-10 minutes, be sure to stand up and take a step back to admire your big pile of leaves! This will give your back and lower extremities a rest from repetitive bending, lunging and squatting that may result in stiffness and pain.
4. Use appropriate tools. Rakes with a good ergonomic grip will prevent hand and wrist and elbow injury. Be sure to use a rake that allows you to have a comfortable grip. A lightweight rake can really help to prevent an excessive load placed on your shoulders and back thus preventing injury.
5. Be sure to wear lightweight layers during raking that are there to keep muscles warm but also can easily be removed if getting too hot.
6. Avoid raking altogether by mulching your leaves instead. Mulching can be an excellent way to help ensure a healthy yard and a healthy You!
Be sure to see your local physiotherapist at Beaumont Physiotherapy & Sports Injury Clinic in order to both prevent and treat musculoskeletal injuries. For more information or to book an appointment please call 780-929-5217. Proudly serving the Beaumont Community for 25 years.