Keep Your Spine In Shape to
Tackle Your Yard This Fall
October 10, 2003 article from PRNewswire reports on a release from the
American Chiropractic Association that advises people to be careful when
engaging in fall or yard activities. The article begins, "Before you rev
up the lawnmower or reach for your rake this fall, consider the possible
consequences: upper or lower-back strain, neck strain and pain in the
In the article the American Chiropractic Association
offered the following tips to help prevent spinal problems.
Do stretching exercises,
without bouncing, for a total of 10 to 15
minutes spread over the course of your work. Do knee-to-chest pulls,
trunk rotations, and side bends with hands above your head and
fingers locked. Take a short walk to stimulate
circulation. When finished with the yard work,
repeat the stretching exercises.
Stand as straight as
possible, and keep your head up as you rake or mow.
When it's still warm
outside, avoid the heat. If you're a morning
person, get the work done before 10 a.m. Otherwise, do your chores after
When raking, use a
"scissors" stance: right foot forward and left foot
back for a few minutes, then reverse, putting your left foot
forward and right foot back.
Bend at the knees, not
the waist, as you pick up piles of leaves or
grass from the grass catcher. Make the piles small to decrease the
possibility of back strain.
When mowing, use your
whole body weight to push the mower, rather
than just your arms and back.
If your mower has a pull
cord, don't twist at the waist or yank the
cord. Instead, bend at the knees and pull in one smooth motion.
Drink lots of water, wear
a hat, shoes and protective glasses. And, to
avoid blisters, wear gloves. If your equipment is loud, wear hearing
protection. If you have asthma or allergies, wear a mask.
Try ergonomic tools.
They're engineered to protect you when used
a doctor of chiropractic.