It is always in the first few “nice weather” weeks of the year we have an overwhelming number of patients who come to see us after they have hurt themselves working in their yard or gardens. We absolutely LOVE that our patients are so active and are itching to work outside again, but we want to give you the information you need to do so in a safe and sustainable manner.Here’s a few tips: 

  1. Remember your body has not done this type of yard work in many months, and you will need to ease your way back into this activity. Avoid long stints of gardening, and take breaks before you’re pooped, or at least switch jobs!
  2. Don’t try to carry heavy things alone; ask for help, drag your item on a tarp or use a wheelbarrow. Large and awkward items often can challenge your body’s capacity in ways that it cannot handle.
    1. While lifting, get close to the object, stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Keep your feet and body facing the same direction. Keep the load close to your body and do not twist while carrying the load. 
  3. Even though it may not feel as hot as summer, drink lots of water and remember your sun protection. 
  4. Prepare your body for these physical tasks with a warm-up, like the one below:  And do not forget your chiropractic care!

Do each of these stretches 5 times, don’t bounce or jerk. Stretches should be gentle and not cause pain. 

Your sides:1. Extend one arm over your head. 2. Bend left from the waist.3. Hold for 15 seconds and repeat to the right.
Your thighs:1. Lean against a tree.2. Bend your right knee and grasp your ankle with your left hand.3. Hold for 15 seconds and repeat with your left knee.
Your hamstrings:1. Stand.2. Reach your hands to the sky.3. Then, bending at the waist, reach toward your toes.4. Hold for 15 seconds.
Your shoulders:1. Let your arms hang loose.2. Rotate your shoulders forward.3. Then rotate back.
Your wrists:1. Hold one arm out in front of you, palm down.2. Bend your wrist until the fingers point to the ground.3. Use your opposite hand to hold this position.4. Place your hands in “prayer” position, and press palms together.5. Keep your arm straight and place your palm in the “stop” position.6. Use your opposite hand to hold this position.

Your arms and shoulders:1. Hug yourself snugly. 2. Slowly rotate at the waist as far as is comfortable to the left, then right.
Your back:1. In a seated position, bend from the hips, keeping your head down.2. Reach for the ground.