Five Tips for Avoiding Low Back Pain While Raking Leaves
With summer now in the rearview mirror, the temperature is starting to cool off. The sun is starting to set a little bit earlier and the kids are back in school. At the same time, this also means that the leaves are starting to change colors. Soon, they are going to start tumbling to the ground. This means that it is time to open the tool shed, get out the rake, dust it off, and get to work. At the same time, raking leaves can be a strenuous activity. Many people end up developing lower back pain as a result. Here are several tips that everyone can keep in mind to avoid lower back pain.
1. Always Warm-Up
Before starting to move the leaves into a pile, it is always important to warm up. Take a few minutes and perform a few stretches. Some of the stretches you can perform to avoid lower back pain include:
- Bend over and touch your toes a few times
- Twist from side to side with the arms extended
- Consider sitting down, extending your legs, and trying to touch your nose to your knees
This will loosen the muscles in your back and could prevent you from developing lower back pain.
2. Select the Right Rake
There are plenty of options out there if you are looking for a rake. If you end up using a rake that is too long or too short, you are going to have to alter your posture in order to rake the leaves effectively. This is going to place added stress on the muscles, ligaments, and tendons in your back. As a result, you are going to develop lower back pain. Always try to find a rake that is proportional to your height.
3. Use the Right Posture
When you start the raking process, make sure that you are using the right posture. If you place your body in awkward positions, then you are going to develop pain. Try to keep your legs slightly bent, keep your weight directly over your hips and knees, and extend with your arms. Use your arms to rake the leaves, not your back. This can go a long way toward preventing lower back pain.
4. Switch Hands on a Regular Basis
Try to alter which hand is on top and which hand is on the bottom on a regular basis. Depending on which hand is on top and which hand is on the bottom, this is going to influence which half of your body is doing most of the work. Every 10 or 15 minutes, switch the position of the hands. This is going to prevent your muscles from getting exhausted. If you allow your muscles to get exhausted, the rest of your body is going to have to compensate, which is going to lead to lower back pain.
5. Always Rake With the Wind
Raking leaves is hard work and you should try to find help whenever possible. Therefore, try to rake the leaves with the direction of the wind. This added wind assistance is going to make it just a little bit easier for you to get all of the leaves into a pile. This is going to make the job shorter, which is going to spare all of the muscles in your body, including your back. Furthermore, if you rake with the wind, this is going to prevent the wind from destroying all of your hard work.
Avoid Lower Back Pain While Raking
As you pull the rake out of the tool shed, think about these tips on raking leaves. This could help you prevent lower back pain from developing. But if you do experience back pain that doesn’t resolve after doing some of these tips please give us a call. We specialize in treating lower back pain and are here to help you!