Fall is Here! Let us help you prevent raking injuries!
Updated: Oct 24, 2020
Fall is a beautiful time of year marked with the start of dropping temperatures, pumpkin spiced everything, football season, school beginning, and the beauty of leaves turning. With fall comes the tasks of changing out your clothes, setting up your yard for the winter, and raking up leaves. Here are some tips to keep you healthy!
Just like any sport or activity, you should warm up before you start raking. Start with 10mins of walking and stretch the muscles involved in raking to avoid injury including the neck, shoulders, wrists, and back. Here are some photos demonstrating some stretches you can do. Try doing each one twice with a 30 second hold on both sides.
Make sure that you use the correct kind of rake as well as the correct size. If you use one that is too long or too short it could cause you injury. Use one that is a comfortable length simulating the raking motion up and down keeping your elbows slightly bent standing upright. If unsure about the size, you can choose a rake with an adjustable handle. Fiberglass and metal handles are smooth and lighter weight in comparison with a wooden handle (MacDougall, 2020).
Maintain proper posture when raking. Stand up straight with your core (stomach muscles) tight. Put one hand at the top of the rake for leverage and one underneath it. While raking, don’t bend forward at the waist. Use your arms to bring the leaves near you, keeping the rake close to your body. Keep your legs shoulder width apart with your weight evenly distributed in the center, knees slightly bent. Make sure to change hand positions and the side the rake is on every few minutes to avoid over-use. Finally, take breaks and allow your body to rest at regular intervals. If you are feeling tightness or discomfort it usually means that you need to rest or change positions.
Physical Therapy can be very beneficial in avoiding injuries from raking by strengthening weak muscles, stretching tight muscles, and learning the proper body mechanics required to perform the task well. If you have already sustained an injury from yard work, then Physical Therapy can help heal the injury and restore proper function.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact us at Dion Physical Therapy!
email: Jennifer.Dion@dionpt.com or by Phone 774-955-5830.
(2018, August 29). 7 Leaf Raking Safety Tips for Fall. Retrieved October 09, 2020, from https://share.upmc.com/2017/10/7-leaf-raking-safety-tips/
Noonan, J., & Vila, B. (2020, February 28). The Right Rake for the Job. Retrieved October 09, 2020, from https://www.bobvila.com/articles/rake-types/
MacDougall, J. (2018, October 23). The Best Rakes of 2020. Retrieved October 09, 2020, from https://www.reviewed.com/home-outdoors/best-right-now/the-best-rakes