As weather cools and the leaves are starting to change in the Halton area, we’re lucky to be able to look out at the Escarpment and Bronte area at the beautiful colours. This also means that many of us have some lawn and yard maintenance to take care of. Because a lot of this house work is repetitive and we may be working and moving in novel ways, there are some things you can do to allow the process to go more smoothly and avoid injury.
Protect your back and shoulders from injury with these tips:
- Plan Ahead – Take a rough inventory of what needs to be done and break it into small chunks over a few days
- Before raking or yard work make sure any tripping hazards have been removed
- Protect your feet by wearing close toed footwear that have non-slip soles.
- Warm up before starting to prepare your joints and muscles
- Avoid overfilling brown bags to help protect your back from lifting
- Avoid twisting your back when raking
- When picking up leaves squat or use a golfers lift. Although the load may not be heavy, repetitively bending forward can cause irritation.
- Use your whole body when raking rather than just your arms
- Many hands make light work – make it a family project or ask for help. There are also many lawn maintenance companies who can help with routine maintenance of your property or who can come and help with the bigger tasks.
- Stretch your hands and forearms after and during breaks to avoid elbow pain
- Take breaks and slow your pace if you are an infrequent exerciser.
- Maintain a general level of strength, activity and fitness throughout the year to avoid injury when there are larger tasks to take care of.
- If you do experience a new strain or sprain seeing a Physiotherapist or Massage Therapist may be helpful in your recovery and in the prevention of future or further injury.