As many of you already know, fall is my favorite season. I love everything about it, the leaves changing color, apple picking, pumpkin picking and all the family traditions that coincide with it...even raking the leaves!! I have to admit though, it was much more fun to jump in the leaves when I was little.
We all know that raking can be tough on our backs. There's a lot of twisting, bending and lifting that's involved. This fall, before you tackle your yard, be sure to follow these simple pointers:
~Make sure your body is warmed up. Jogging in place or doing jumping jacks are both simple and effective ways to accomplish this.
~Do some stretches to warm up your muscles. In particular bending and extending your back muscles. Those of you that were provided wobble boards use them now. Also include some deep knee bends with out turning at the waist.
~Pay attention to you body while you rake. Be sure not to keep your feet planted and continually turn at your waist. This is how you will get hurt. Try moving at the hip and pivoting at your foot in order to minimize the stress to your lower back.
~Be sure to keep you knees slightly bent. Raking with stiff, straight legs is never a good idea.
~Raking the leaves or using a blower to put them on a tarp makes it much easier to put them into bags. When bending and lifting be sure not to bend at your waist. Use your legs by bending at your knees instead. If you have a leaf vacuum this minimizes the bending you must do as well.
~My personal favorite is to have your spouse or children rake instead!! It works wonders!! :)
These simple tips can potentially save you from having to deal with lower back pain. If you still experience discomfort be sure to contact your chiropractor for an evaluation.
~Dr. Laura of Islip Chiropractic www.chiropractorislip.com