Since super storm Sandy many of us are still cleaning up the debris from fallen branches and leaves from lawns and gardens. So whether you are using a chain saw to cut tree limbs, bending over to pick up bags of debris, this can cause stress and strains on the muscles and joints in your body.
This also applies to additional winter activities of shoveling or using a snow blower.
According to the American Physical Therapy Association the shoulders, back, neck and knees are prime target areas for injuries. Following the suggested tips can help you minimize the risk of injury:
- Warm up before you begin. Get your heart rate up by taking a 10-minute walk followed by some stretches for your upper and lower back, neck, arms and legs. Roll your shoulders back in a circular motion and slowly move your
head from side to side a few times to loosen up.
- Don't overdo it. Be mindful of how the body feels. If you experience an aching back or neck, slow down and stretch or stop and switch to a different task.
- Use a garden cart or wheelbarrow to move toolsor debris. Don't kneel on both knees. Keep one foot on the ground to give your back more stability. If you have to kneel use knee pads or a pillow to absorb some of the pressure.
- Change positions frequently to avoid stiffness or cramping.
- Practice proper body mechanics. Bend at your knees when you grab something; bend your knees and contract your abdominal muscles to avoid straining your back. Slight bending at your knees also applies to shoveling
- When shoveling, turn and pivot on your feet instead of twisting from your trunk to remove snow from your shovel.
- End your cleaning-up session with a short walk or some light stretching. Take a warm bath or shower to help prevent next-day soreness.
If you experience pain, contact PhysicalTherapy at Briarcliff at (914) 762 – 2222 or Physical Therapy at Jefferson Valley at (914) 245 – 8807; or visit our web at www.ptrehab.com