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How to Avoid Injury While Working in the Garden

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Before yesterday’s downpour, we had a fabulous day of sunshine and warmer weather in Southern Ontario. Did you spend Saturday cleaning up your yard? If so, did you think of stretching before you pulled on your gloves and got to work?

Many homeowners don’t, which is why, according to the Ontario Chiropractic Association, “gardening is the most common source of back and neck pain reported by patients in the warmer months.”

So remember, when the warmer returns, ease into your activities and follow these tips from the Ontario Chiropractic Association.

Here are some Tips for a Healthy Back in the Garden from the Ontario Chiropractic Association.

  1. Have the right tools for the task at hand.
  2. Ensure you drink plenty of fluids.
  3. Alternate between light and heavy jobs.
  4. Lift correctly.
  5. Take frequent breaks.
  6. Heavy loads should be shared.
  7. Your feed should be protected with thick-soled supportive shoes.
  8. Before you start, warm up your muscles.
  9. Avoid muscle strain, learn the right techniques.
  10. Change positions frequently.
  11. Kneel to plant and weed.
  12. Spinal check-ups can help keep your back healthy.

Tips for a Healthy Back while Gardening Ajax Chiropractors Ajax Massage Therapy

How Can Ajax Chiropractors and Ajax Massage Therapy Help with Your Low Back Pain?

Chiropractic treatment relieves low back pain using effective clinical tools like manipulation, mobilization, soft tissue therapy, exercise, patient education and rehabilitation.

Extensively trained in spinal manipulative therapy (SMT), chiropractors are proficient in providing specialized care which has been proven effective in reducing pain, improving function, and decreasing the chances of low back pain becoming a chronic condition.

Ajax chiropractors Dr. John Noble and Dr. Mark Fera can provide education on your spine and posture and create a personalized treatment plan for your low back pain designed to ease pain and lower your risk of recurrence.

Therapeutic massage therapy is also available at our clinic by Ajax massage therapists Rolf Castanheiro and Jessica Raedisch. Call 905-427-3202 to book an appointment.

With files from the Ontario Chiropractic Association.

Here’s How To Avoid a Backache the Next Time You Rake

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Check your posture when you rake As you head out to rake your leaves this month, chances are the last thing you’ll be thinking about is your posture.

It’s hard to believe, but an hour or so spent tidying your lawn can have long-term consequences if your body isn’t accustomed to the activity.

Ajax Chiropractors Dr. John Noble and Dr. Mark Fera and the massage therapists at Pickering Village Chiropractic and Massage have helped numerous patients overcome injuries, many of which have occurred while working around the home.

“Although raking may seem like an easy task, it’s actually an intense physical activity,” says Dr. Noble. “To avoid injury, it’s important to make sure you’re performing this task correctly.”

Follow these tips and avoid a backache next time you rake.

Pick the right tool for the job
Is your rake the correct length for your height? Ideally, your rake should be about chin high. If it is too tall or too short, this could lead to improper reaching or bending and potential injury.

Get your body moving before the raking begins
Before you grab the rake, spend five to 10 minutes doing a variety of whole body stretches. These can include a basic hamstring stretch, shoulder, wrist and side stretches. For a full list of stretches, click here. Do each of the exercises five times, holding each for 15 seconds. Be sure not to bounce, jerk or strain. It should be a gentle stretch, not a pain.

Ensure proper raking posture

Once you’ve warmed up, keep your back straight while raking and avoid repetitive motions by switching arms and pulling in different directions. This allows you to work out different parts of your body equally.

Remember to bend at the knees when lifting

Whether you’re moving a planter across the deck or lifting a bag of leaves, remember to bend at your knees, not at your waist, and keep your feet shoulder-width apart. As you’re lifting, tighten your abs, straighten your knees and keep your back straight. For turning, you should avoid twisting at the waist by moving your feet instead.

Take frequent breaks
Every 20 minutes or so, pause for a few minutes to catch your breath and stay hydrated. Check your posture and perform a few stretches to ensure that you are maintaining flexibility throughout raking.

Want to learn more about how to prevent neck and back pain while you rake? Book an appointment with our Pickering massage therapists and chiropractic team at 905-427-3202.