Protecting Your Back During Yard Work
As the weather begins to turn nice, it is time to get outside and start yard work! It is very easy to strain back muscles this time of year, especially if you have been sedentary throughout the winter months. According to the National Safety Council’s 2011 Injury Facts report, over four million Americans suffered an injury working around their home or yard. It is important to take proper steps to prevent injury this spring!
To help prevent injury like muscles strains and back pain, Health Connections Chiropractic Center and the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) would like to offer a few tips to keep you connected to your health and wellness.
Garden Fitness Stretches
- Before stretching for any activity, breathe in and out, slowly and rhythmically; do not bounce or jerk your body, and stretch as far and as comfortably as you can. Do not follow the “no pain, no gain” rule. Stretching should not be painful.
- While sitting, stretch your leg out in front of you, knee straight, and prop your heel on a step. Then lean forward until you feel a stretch in the back of the thigh, or the hamstring muscle. Hold this position for 15 seconds. Do this once more and repeat with the other leg.
- Stand up, balance yourself, and grab the front of your ankle from behind. Pull your heel towards your buttocks and hold the position for 15 seconds. Do this again and repeat with the other leg.
- While standing, weave your fingers together above your head with the palms up. Lean to one side for 10 seconds, then to the other. Repeat this stretch three times.
- Do the “Hug your best friend” stretch. Wrap your arms around yourself and rotate to one side, stretching as far as you can comfortably go. Hold for 10 seconds and reverse. Repeat two or three times.
- Finally, be aware of your body technique, body form and correct posture while gardening. Kneel, don’t bend, and alternate your stance and movements as often as possible to keep the muscles and body balanced
If you feel muscle aches and pains after your day in the garden, there are ways to alleviate the discomfort. Apply a cold pack on the area of pain for the first 48 hours or apply a heat pack after 48 hours, and consider seeking the services of a doctor of chiropractic in your area.
Doctors of Chiropractic (DCs) practice a drug-free, hands-on approach to health care that includes patient examination, diagnosis and treatment. While best known for their expertise in treating the musculoskeletal system and their use of spinal manipulation, DCs have broad diagnostic skills and are also trained to recommend therapeutic and rehabilitative exercises, as well as to provide nutritional, dietary and lifestyle counseling.
Consider visiting Dr. Laura Draxler at Health Connections Chiropractic Center next time gardening activities leave you with aches and pain. To book an appointment call 651-330-4686 or book online here.