Leaves are so beautiful in the fall when they start to change colors on the trees! But.....as it starts to cool off, there's the necessary evil of them falling to the ground and us having get them off the ground before the snow comes. For many people with back pain, raking leaves can be a task that either restarts a previous episode of back pain or flares up to be a current episode.
In the video below, we will show you how to rake and pick up leaves without hurting your back in the process!
Learn tips on how you can rake leaves without back pain by watching the video below...
Do You Get Back Pain When Raking Or Picking Up Leaves?
The Midwest weather is back and forth this time of year. The leaves are starting to all fall to the ground in our yards and it's by nature that we HAVE to rake and pick them up, right? We try to do it before it gets too cold, where we don't want to be outside doing yard work. Usually that means we are trying to work hard and fast to get it all done, but we aren't working smarter!
Follow these tips to be able to rake leaves and do other yard work without getting back pain during, after, or the next day:
Mow Over The Leaves Instead Of Raking Them- Mulch up those leaves using a lawnmower and save yourself from bending over repeatedly. PLUS, it's natural fertilizer for your lawn. BE SMARTER and don't bother with the hassle of raking and picking up leaves if you don't have to!
If you HAVE to rake and pick up the leaves in your yard:
- Stay In An Upright Position- Keep your spine in an upright position, Roll your pelvis underneath of you, and make sure your spine is flat
- Don't Overreach- Avoid reaching out TOO far to with the rake to try and get a pile that is far away from you. Move your body, and keep the rake close to you so you remain staying upright. Rake all the leaves into a big pile close to you.
- Kneel Down Instead Of Bending Down Repeatedly- When you have the leaves piled up sufficiently, grab your leaf bag and lay it on the ground next to the leaf pile. Stuff in as much as you can while kneeling down, then stand up to shake the leaves down farther into the leaf bag. Repeat if necessary! Kneeling down saves you from bending now repeatedly.
Your spine is meant to bend, but repeatedly doing it when it's not necessary, it just sets you up for an injury!
"Lift with your legs and not with you back" is a true statement... BUT, you don't need to keep your spine completely straight! Keeping it excessively straight puts you at risk for more injury because you're jamming the joints together in your spine when you do that!
Smarter Way To Bend!
- Get your spine in a neutral position
- Roll your pelvis underneath of you
- Starting sticking out your bottom and push your hips out behind you and your knees will will start to bend naturally. Don't think about it, just let them bend!
- Your head and shoulders will go in front of you and over your feet. At this point, you are bending over, which is good because it keeps your center of gravity centered over your feet. Your feet is your base of support, which means you will be balanced while in this position!
- Keep in mind:
- If you are too far out front, you will have to use a lot of muscle force in your back to hold yourself up.
- If you are too far back, you will fall backwards
Using these tips when raking and picking up leaves over the next month can help you keep your back safe and prevent you from causing or flaring up back pain. Check back on our blog in the near future for Part 2 of our fall yard work series to learn about lifting and carrying heavy things (i.e. carrying in heavy planters and flower pots for the winter).
Learn More By Requesting Our FREE Back Pain Guide:
6 Untold Secrets To Overcome Back Pain
This FREE guide, written by back pain specialist, Dr. Dave Candy, shows you simple tips and tricks you can use in your everyday life to help ease back pain without pain medication, injections, or even a trip to the doctor's office.