Yardwork Injury Prevention Tips for Spring Cleaning

Maintaining your yard can be a rewarding experience. It keeps your home looking great while ensuring that your trees, plants and other outdoor features stay healthy.

But yardwork can put you at risk for injury. Many patients report back, neck, shoulder, and leg pain when doing yardwork.

Knowing the 3 ways to prevent injury while doing yardwork helps you keep your home maintained all year round while supporting your long-term health.

  1. Warm Up for Yardwork
    Yardwork is exercise. You use a variety of muscles and joints to rake, sweep, cut, and prune in and around your yard. Over time, this places stress on the joints and their connective tissues.Warming up is essential to preventing these issues and preparing your body for yardwork. A proper warm up should consist of static and dynamic stretches that increase joint mobility and muscle flexibility.Slow gentle stretches should be used prior to yardwork or any other physical activity. Proper breathing should also be used during the warm up as well as when working in your yard.
  2. Know How to Use Your Body
    Many of the injuries related to yardwork can be easily avoided with proper body mechanics.Poor posture can place undue stress on the joints, ligaments and tendons. It can lead to muscle imbalances, disc-related issues and compensations that lead to acute or chronic pain symptoms.It forces muscles to work harder than they should in order to compensate for weaknesses. This reduces movement efficiency and requires more energy than would normally be used, leading to fatigue.Avoid slouched postures as much as possible. Keeping your back and neck straight keeps the spine in proper alignment while reducing pressure on the intervertebral discs.Use your legs as much as possible when bending over or picking up objects. Squatting with your legs reduces the load placed on the back and prevents injuries.

    Additionally, it’s important to learn how to properly hold and maneuver gardening equipment tools. If there is a strap in place, make sure you use it to reduce the load placed on the arms, shoulders, and back.

    Change your body position and movements frequently to avoid repetitive stress injuries, and take breaks to give your muscles a rest.

  3. Wear the Right Safety Gear
    Many injuries occur from not having the right protective gear in place. Gardening requires the use of various products and chemicals that can present certain risks.The use of gloves, safety goggles, and protective clothing keeps you safe and can reduce injuries. Some yard equipment may cause debris to fly around, which increases the risk of injury.Also, if visibility is compromised, you may be at a greater risk for tripping or falling. Keep machinery and other objects organized so that you minimize clutter and prevent injuries related to falling.

These are 3 essential ways to prevent injury while doing yardwork. Warming up and using your body correctly prevents many injuries that physiotherapists often treat.

The right clothing and safety accessories provide an additional layer of protection from debris and other factors that lead to injury.

Keeping these in mind will help you get the most out of your yardwork and keep you and your home in top shape all year long.

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