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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.

Four Easy Stretches to Avoid Injury on the Golf Course

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Four Easy Stretches to Avoid Injury on the Golf Course Pickering Village Chiropractic & MassageIt’s a beautiful day and you’re excited to get on the course. Don’t underestimate the strain and effort required to play golf. To avoid injury, be sure to spend a least five minutes stretching before you start swinging!

Here are a few quick and easy golf stretches to help you get in the game without the pain.

hip flexor golf lunge

Hip Flexor Lunge

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Step one foot forward into a lunge position. Keep your body upright and back straight.
  • Bend both knees so that you feel the stretch.
  • Do not let your forward knee pass over the ankle of your front foot.
  • Use a golf club to keep your balance.
  • Hold 15 seconds. Repeat twice on each side.

seated twist golf stretch

Seated Twist

  • Sit on a bench or golf cart with your knees together and feet flat, pointing forward.
  • Reach across the front of your body and grasp the back of the bench or cart.
  • You should experience a stretch in your spinal muscles.
  • Hold 15 seconds. Repeat twice on each side.

seated forward bend golf stretch

Seated Forward Bend

  • Sit on a bench or golf cart, knees bent and feet flat.
  • Place one ankle onto your opposite knee, and relax this leg so that your knee falls out to the side.
  • Slowly bend forward, keeping your back straight.
  • You may gently pull on your bent knee to generate a deeper stretch.
  • You should feel a stretch in your buttock area.
  • Hold 15 seconds. Repeat twice on each side.

side bending golf stretchSide Bending Stretch

  • Stand with feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Hold the golf club above your head with your arms straight.
  • Slowly bend to one side, without rotating, until you feel a stretch along the side of your back.
  • Hold 15 seconds. Repeat twice on each side.

 

 

For a full list of golf stretches, click here.

Suffering from back or neck pain from golfing? Book a chiropractic consultation or massage therapy appointment at Pickering Village Chiropractic and Massage by calling 905-427-3202.

 

With files from the Canadian Chiropractic Association.

How to Stay Healthy and Injury-Free as We Head into Spring

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Stay Healthy and Injury-free this Spring with Chiropractic careOnce we “spring ahead” an hour this weekend and start enjoying extended hours of daylight, our urge to spend more time outside increases. Unless you’ve spent your spare time on a ski hill all winter, you’ve probably spent a good chunk of your working and free time indoors.

Now that the snow is gone (hopefully until next winter), you may be ready to get active outdoors. But before you pull on those jogging pants, hop on that bike or even start working in the garden, there are a few things you need to remember.

Ease into extra activity
To avoid injury, preparing your body is key, especially if you’ve been relatively inactive over the winter months. The “no pain, no gain” philosophy is outdated and will likely leave you in worse shape than when you started.

“It happens every year,” says Dr. John Noble of Pickering Village Chiropractic & Massage. “We get a few warmer days and people go from little activity to a full day on the golf course or a morning spent in the garden…without any stretching or gradually working up to it.” Each spring, the warmer weather results in more patients seeking chiropractic care for back, shoulder and neck injuries. “It’s unfortunate because so many of these injuries could be avoided.”

Whether you’re golfing, gardening or hitting the tennis courts, be sure to ease into your activity and find the appropriate stretches to perform beforehand.

Get a good night’s sleep
As we head into the summer months, it may be tempting to stay up later to enjoy the extra daylight. Extra-long days, more activity…what’s not to love?

Don’t underestimate the healing power of rest, especially if you’re recovering from an injury. Poor sleep patterns have been linked to weight gain, heart disease, stroke, depression, inflammation and cell damage. A good sleep pattern, on the other hand, can improve immune function, maximize athletic performance and improve concentration and productivity.

Stay hydrated
Getting enough fluids in warmer weather, especially as your activity level increases, is crucial to staying healthy. Drinking ample amounts of liquid helps to maintain your body’s functions, including your heart, brain and muscles. Staying hydrated allows your body to carry nutrients to your cells, maintain a normal temperature, digest food and flush bacteria and impurities from your body.

How much is enough? The actual amount varies from person to person and is dependent on a variety of factors, including your weight, height and activity level. Ask your doctor how much water you should be drinking each day.

Maintain a healthy immune system with chiropractic care
Although many people associate chiropractic care with the treatment of neck, shoulder and back pain — and this would be correct — visiting a chiropractor regularly can also aide your immune function. At Pickering Village Chiropractic & Massage, our patients understand that by keeping their spine in proper alignment, all systems in their body are able to function at optimum efficiency, allowing messages to travel throughout their body freely and keep illness at bay.