After a long winter, most of us are itching to get out into our yards and dig in the dirt. However, yard work, with all of its bending, shoveling, digging, lifting and leaning, can cause injuries. We see a lot of patients in the spring who’ve injured in their backs and necks doing yard work or home maintenance. Here are some tips so you don’t become one of them!
Shoes Are Important
Wear shoes that adequately support your ankle and arch! This is a crucial part of injury prevention. The right pair of shoes can prevent all kinds of injuries in the feet, ankles, and back. Ask us for advice on the right shoes to wear while working in your yard.
Pay Attention to Posture
Proper posture while doing yard work can protect your back! This is most important during activities like mowing and raking the yard. Keep your back straight and pay attention to areas that feel strained by your movements. If you feel a strain, notice the shape of your back and see if it subsides when your spine remains straight. Maintaining good posture is the overall most important part of preventing injury during yard work.
Lift the Right Way
Getting tools out of the shed, lifting blacks of straw—with all the heavy lifting, care is important. The key is in the technique. First, make sure no matter what you are picking up, that you do it correctly. The proper technique is to bend at your knees, not your waist, when you are lifting, and keep your back straight. If something is too heavy, use a wheel barrel, a dolly, or ask for help!
Never do yard work or home maintenance if you are not properly hydrated! Even if it is a cool spring day, you can get dehydrated which puts you at greater risk for injury. Also, sunscreen ALWAYS, and safety goggles, gloves, depending on the work you are doing.
And of course, part of being prepared is to make sure your body is in proper alignment. Come see us at Chiropractic Family Wellness Center for the chiropractic care that will keep you feeling and being your best all year long. Call to make an appointment: (207) 883-5549.