The arrival of fall means cooler temperatures rather than sweltering heat, wearing comfy sweaters, smelling the crisp morning air, hearing the leaves under your fall boots, and putting firewood into the fireplace and watching the embers fall. But with the season change can also come intense back pain if you are not careful while raking up the leaves on your grass. The most common complaint with raking leaves is experiencing low back pain within the first couple of hours. This is due to the repetitive moments and bending and lifting to put those raked leaves into the bag. We have compiled a list of 5 tips to prevent back pain while raking leaves this fall season.
1. Choose the Correct Rake
Using a rake that is proportionate to your body size will help prevent back pain. If you are using a rake that is too long or too short it will cause you to strain your muscles by altering your posture to stretch or crouch. The width of the rake is also important. Wide rakes gather more leaves but can strain your back. Narrow rakes may cause the job to take a bit longer but will make the weight of the leaves lighter.
2. Use a Tarp
Using a tarp will save you and your back the constant bending and lifting to pick up the leaves and putting them into a garbage bag. Instead, rake the leaves onto a tarp and pull one end of the trap as you go along.
3. Take Breaks While Raking Leaves
Take your time while raking your leaves so it is less likely for injury to occur. Never push yourself to the point of exhaustion. This causes proper posture to lack and lifting techniques to get sloppy, which makes you prone to injury.
4. Be Conscious of Your Posture
Make sure you are keeping your knees slightly bent and weight centred while raking. You should always be reaching with your arms rather than your back. Twisting and turning in one spot may seem more efficient, but will cause too much stress on your spine if you are keeping your feet planted and just twisting your upper body. Make sure you are rotating by moving around and shuffling your feet. Make sure that every 20 minutes or so you are taking a break and placing your hands on your hips and stretching your back a couple of times.
5. Drink Plenty of Water
Your muscles need water to function correctly. Your muscles coordinate themselves with other muscles to reduce the risk of strain while you are doing physical activity, so by not drinking enough water you are risking your muscles not performing to the best of their ability.
If you already have experienced back pain in the past, a leaf blower may be a good option for you.
Sometimes even by following these tips, back pain can still occur. It is important to get your pain treated as soon as possible. You can visit our online booking page to book an appointment with our Chiropractor or Registered Massage Therapists that can help alleviate your pain. Click to book with our Chiropractor or Massage Therapists.