Yard work doesn’t have to be a pain in the back.
Summer is in full swing and if you haven’t finished off your yard work here are a few tips from Doroski Chiropractic Neurology in Woodbridge VA.
Muscles that have had very little activity during the winter months are suddenly called upon to stretch and twist over and over again. This repetitive motion often causes muscle strain in the lower back. Activities such as bending, raking, pulling weeds and lifting often causes generalized back pain. Our chiropractic patients describe it as a sore or achy lower back. Sadly it happens in the middle of your project and you feel the need to just finish it. Sometimes that can be the worst thing you can do. It is better to stop and ice your back rather than finish the project. If the ice helps you can probably get back out there tomorrow. Once the project is finished make sure you go to your chiropractor.
Here are some tips to use to hopefully prevent an injury to begin with:
Stretch Before You Work
Without bouncing, for 10 to 15 minutes, do knee-to-chest pulls, trunk rotations, and side bends with your hands above your head and fingers locked. Take a short walk to stimulate circulation. When finished with the yard work, repeat the stretching exercises. This will protect your back by warming up the muscles before and after you use them.
Pull Weeds While Seated
As a back specialist Overland Park KS, we often instruct patients who enjoy gardening to sit on a bucket while pulling weeds. This takes the pressure off of your lower back. By leaning forward onto your elbow (which is resting on the inside of your knee) you can still reach the ground.
Mulching is covering your garden with weed mats, rocks, tree bark and other man-made products that block the light and moisture that weeds need to grow. Pour mulch 4-6 inches deep around the areas of your garden that you decide not to plant and plan to add a little each year. Weeds that never grow, don’t need to be pulled.
When raking, use ‘scissors’ stance: right foot forward and left foot back, reverse after a few minutes, putting your left foot forward and right foot back. You also want to keep your head up as you rake so you don’t get a kink in your neck.
When mowing, you want to use your whole bodyweight to push the mower, rather than your arms and back. Try to stand up as straight as possible and keep the handlebar close to your stomach. You don’t want to be bending over at the waist and pushing the mower with your arms extended straight out in front of you. If your mower has a pull cord, don’t twist at the waist or yank the cord. Instead, bend at the knees and pull in one smooth motion. Also, keep your head up as your mow.
Build a raised garden bed can bring your garden to you!
By elevating the beds you can work at them seated and significantly decrease the bending and stress on your low back.
Doroski Chiropractic Neurology
3122 Golansky Blvd, Ste 102
Woodbridge VA 22192
703 730 9588