Mowing your lawn and doing other yard work can be hard on your back, often resulting in pain or injury. Fortunately, there are things you can do to minimize the risk of back pain that comes from lawn mowing.
Understanding How You Can Injure Your Back
The posture you maintain while mowing the lawn compresses the intervertebral discs, pushing them toward the spinal column nerves. Intervertebral discs are the cushions in between vertebrae in the spinal column. Poor posture can cause a weak disc to bulge or swell, pinching a nerve and causing pain.
When you bend to start your lawn mower, trim weeds, or pick up grass clippings, you can strain your back. Emptying the grass bag or box also puts stress on your back if you don't bend and lift properly. In fact, you add 10 pounds of weight to the muscles in your neck and back for every inch your head leans forward when you bend over.
Ways to Prevent Injury
If you suffer from back pain when mowing your lawn, along with treating your condition, your chiropractor can offer some helpful advice on ways to protect your back the next time you do yard work.
Stretch before you do any lawn work. Begin with warm-up exercises, which can be as simple as taking a short walk around your yard.
Drink plenty of water before you begin and while doing your lawn chores so that you don't dehydrate. Keeping your body well hydrated helps prevent muscle cramps and spasms.
Keep your back straight and don't lean forward as you push the mower across the lawn. Make short rather than long pushes to avoid straining your back. Instead of pushing with your back, allow your arms and legs to do the work.
Stop and rest when you feel tired. It's not necessary to mow your entire lawn at once. Rotate yard chores so that you are not doing any one activity for too long. Work in cycles by mowing the grass for a while and then stopping to clean up grass clippings.
Watch how you lift when picking up piles of grass or weeds. Bend with your hips and knees rather than bending your back. Break piles of grass or leaves into smaller piles so that you don't lift too much weight at once.
Carry bags or boxes of lawn clippings close to your body. This helps to prevent straining your back. Remember to bend at the legs when you go to empty the lawn mower's grass bag. Whenever you change position, use your whole body to avoid twisting your back.
Wear the right shoes for the job. Don't wear sandals, flip-flops, or other shoes with little or no support. Select shoes that offer adequate foot and arch support so that the stress mowing puts on your feet and legs doesn't creep up your back.
If you already have back issues, you may want to consider hiring someone else to do the job to save wear on your back. For more help with dealing with back pain, contact a business such as Hidden Valley Chiropractic.Share
1 June 2016
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