by Tyler Ravlo, PT
Fall in Nova Scotia may be the most beautiful time of the year. Along with its beauty, it also brings lots of yard work, whether it’s raking, fertilizing or winterizing the garden, these activities can push an already sore back or shoulder over the edge. A few simple tips can help you enjoy these activities pain free.
When you are raking leaves, try to keep the strokes short. Avoid overreaching and twisting and activate your core, make sure to let your legs do most of the work.
If you have to lift bags of fertilizer or leaves, make sure to bend at the knees, hold it in close to your body, activate your core and again, let your legs do the work. Your legs are the strongest part of your body so put them to use!
Weeding/winterizing the garden can mean spending a lot of time bent forward on your knees. A good way to avoid being in this position for too long is to set a timer for 20-30 minutes. When it goes off, stand up and stretch, move around a bit then re-set the timer and get back to it. Also visualize a square that you can easily reach everything inside of. When you have finished that square, move and visualize another one. This will help you avoid overreaching and twisting.
Most importantly, listen to your body and don’t be afraid to take breaks. Pain doesn’t mean you’re causing damage but it does mean your body does not like something about the position you are in or activity you are doing. If your pain levels are increasing, stop what you are doing, think about how you are doing it and the posture you are using. If you are not able to find a way to do it with minimal levels of discomfort, walk away from it and mention it to your therapist next time you see them.
Now get out there and enjoy the fall weather before the snow starts to fall!
For further information on how you can stay injury free this fall call Empower Physical Rehabilitation at 902-865-8100.