The spring has finally arrived, and the yard is starting to awaken. Many of us turn our sights to getting our outside areas ready for the warmer weather. As highlighted in our fall yard work blog, the CDC estimates that around 42 million people seek emergency room treatment for yard work related injuries each year. That’s just those that end up in the emergency room. Here are some of the top injury-causing spring yard jobs we see here at Bryn Mawr Wellness:
Weeding the yard
When weeding, don’t bend over from the waist. Either squat, kneel, or invest in a wedding stool to help ensure you aren’t putting strain on your lower back. Weed using your whole hand and not just your fingers as this can lead to a repetitive strain injury.
Adding plants to beds and borders
Digging holes is hard work. While bending over completely can’t be avoided, do think about your posture and be sure to use all of your body weight when digging. When moving the dirt, turn your entire body. This will help you avoid twisting injuries.
Raking leaves and mulching
Similar to moving soil, the key here is to not twist your spine. Concentrate on using your arms and shoulders to rake. Practice good posture.
Mowing the lawn
Lawnmowers can be heavy. Keep your spine long and straight and lean in to get your lawnmower moving. Watch your arm positioning while mowing, paying careful attention to the angle of your wrists and elbows.
Arm, neck and shoulder injuries, such as rotator cuff tendonitis are common injuries from pruning shrubs and trees. Try to keep your wrist, arms, and in general your body, loose while pruning. Don’t do too much as your arms probably aren’t probably used to the motion and don’t overstretch.
Lifting bags of soil
Whether it’s lifting soil or dumping out that wheelbarrow full of weeds, make sure you use a good lift technique. Remember, bend from your legs, not your back. Get someone to help you lift anything that is very heavy. Don’t be a hero!
Ladder falls are one of the most common yard accidents, as are over-stretch injuries. Make sure you have someone spot you when using a ladder and don’t stretch. If you can’t reach, move the ladder or get a taller one.
Spring yard work tips:
- Invest in ergonomic tools and good clothing
- Stretch before undertaking yard work
- Be aware of your posture and positioning of your body
- Take breaks, rest and stay hydrated
- Don’t do too much
Come see us!
Pain of any kind is not good. Even a small niggle can stop you from enjoying yourself. If you feel you’ve done too much while gardening, or simply want a check-up for your spinal health, please come in and see us for a check-up.