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Leaves:  They weigh so little but cause so much lower back pain
by Dr. Brian S. Seaman, DC, FRCCSS(C), FICC

fall2The Fall season is here again, and most people can hardly wait to get out to clean up leaves and get the yard and garden ready for the winter. Raking and other jobs in and around the house can take their toll. Chiropractors treat many individuals who injure themselves at this time of year, so we would offer the following advice before you start:

  • Don't take on too much too soon. Start off with the little jobs and work yourself into condition.
  • Gentle stretching exercises before, during and after stressful work activity are recommended.
  • Do not remain bent or stooped for prolonged periods. That is a position your back is not used to, and it will tell you so!
  • Wear proper clothing. Don't overdress or underdress for the weather.
  • Use long-handled tools to save you from bending. Pushing or pulling while bent over can strain the shoulders and back.
  • When lifting or shovelling, use your legs to take the strain, NOT your back.
  • Switch hands frequently while raking, hoeing or shovelling. This distributes the load evenly instead of putting all the effort on one side of the body.
  • If joint or muscle soreness occurs, try resting and apply an ice pack for 15-20 minutes every hour.
  • For acute injuries or severe pain in the spine, see your chiropractor; don't be one of those people who suffers needlessly by telling themselves it will be better in a few days.
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