"I’ve been raking leaves and my back hurts, can a chiropractor help?"
Many of you who have been watching the leaves start to fall and the idea of raking leaves is upon you. Before you feel the AFTERSHOCK of back and neck pain with raking, consider options and prepare. The repetitive motion of raking is typically done one sided, which sets you up for fatigue easier and muscle sprain/strain without warning. Compound that with bending to gather leaves and lifting of heavy bags to the curb for disposal and this adds up to an all out assault on your body. There are ways to avoid this recipe for low back and neck trouble.
Here are a few simple tips:
1. Use the rake on both sides even if it takes longer. Muscles that are used equally allow your spine to stay more aligned.
2. Warm up by taking a hot shower, stretching your legs, your arms and your torso.
3. When lifting, bend at the knees and clench your legs & buttocks to avoid straining your back. They are where your power should come from.
4. Ice down for 20 minutes after your outside work to relieve inflammation and irritation. You will feel a burn in the first five minutes but this is necessary to penetrate deep enough for relief.
5. See your chiropractor soon afterwards for an alignment and don’t wait for the pain. Chiropractors fix areas that have become misaligned. Proper spinal alignment will improve your ability to stay doing the things you love and reduce injuries.
6. Save yourself the strain and purchase a handy blower, leaf vacuum or local neighborhood teen to remove the leaves frequently without waiting until there is an abundant layer.