Autumn is a beautiful time when the foliage on trees changes and begins to fall. With that change also comes extra work. Homeowners might find themselves working outdoors, raking those fallen leaves and preparing their homes for the winter.
With all that work also comes the increased risk for injuries. If you are doing any fall maintenance outdoors this month, our physical therapy Omaha team wants to share some tips on how to avoid any back, shoulder or neck-related injuries.
How outdoor cleaning can result in injuries
When cleaning outdoors, you are probably thinking about all the leaves you need to rake. Or maybe which color of mums will look prettier in your garden. The last thing you might have on your mind is injuries.
However, it should be something homeowners should consider. All that bending, lifting and twisting can put a toll on your body. Some common injuries caused by raking leaves include upper or lower back and neck strains.
Ways to avoid outdoor injuries
Stretch before you start any physical activity
You stretch before going on a run or starting any workout, so why wouldn’t you stretch before cleaning. Stretching allows your body to warm up and prevent injuries. You can warm up by taking a short 15-minute walk or doing stretching exercises. The key is to loosen up your body so lifting will not damage it.
Learning proper raking techniques
Just like shoveling snow, raking leaves can also cause injuries. A report found that raking leaves caused 42,000 injuries in 2014. Learning proper raking techniques is the best way to prevent injuries. When ranking leaves, let your arms and shoulders do the work. Twist and pull your arms, not your back. Twisting or pulling with your back causes injuries to your discs. Also, be sure to take breaks to avoid overworking your muscles.
Correctly place your ladder on your house
The yard is not the only place where leaves can accumulate. Your home’s gutters also collect leaves. Homeowners want to clean out their gutters so that rainwater and snow have a place to run down and away from your home.
However, cleaning your gutters can also cause injuries, like falls. To avoid any injuries while cleaning your home’s gutters, make sure the ladder is placed on stable ground and you do not overreach. If a person overreaches too far, they could lose balance and fall off the ladder.
Gardening with care
Perhaps during the spring and summer months, you did a lot of gardening. Now that winter has arrived, you probably have a lot of cleaning to do. Homeowners typically pull out the weeds, deadhead faded blooms and remove annuals. All this bending down, pulling and shoveling can cause back injuries. Experts recommend that to avoid injuries, you should take breaks, use a mat when kneeling and avoid lifting if you have been bent down for long periods of time.
See a physical therapist
If you get injured while cleaning this fall, see a physical therapist. This physical therapy Omaha professional can provide a treatment plan that heals your injuries and increases your body movements to as normal as possible. Plus, they can offer exercises you can do at home to prevent any injuries in the future.
Looking for a physical therapy Omaha professional?
See Wisniewski Chiropractic! We provide physical therapy that preserves, enhances and restores the movements and physical function of the body through therapeutic exercises. Schedule your appointment today to get started!