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CONDITION OF THE MONTH
NOVEMBER 2008: Fall Do's & Don'ts
Pains and Aches from Bags and Rakes
 

As with all our household chores, there are good ways and bad ways to go about accomplishing these necessary tasks. Raking leaves and cleaning up your yard from autumn’s timely ending to summer can allow ample opportunity to develop sprains and strains.   

We here at Dr. Kiser-Crouch’s office would like to provide you with several tips for properly going about your outside chores with no resulting aches and pains. There are correct and incorrect body mechanics for raking...no, it does not involve kneeling to pray for a strong wind to blow them over to the neighbor’s yard. There are correct and incorrect body mechanics for bagging and/or dragging and/or blowing leaves...again, not over to your neighbor’s. And, we’ll offer some good tips to load up firewood to carry inside to keep you toasty this winter…or you can go over to your neighbor’s.

 

 
Just because the rake is six feet long does not mean to stretch it out six feet. Do not lean out and over to rake. Hope this raker has an ice-maker for the ice packs her back will need.
 

Keep the rake closer to your body and use shorter strokes. Bend your knees to reach A LITTLE BIT, instead of bending entire body to reach too much. Another good idea is to sit down for a few minutes every so often. Taking short breaks will help you go the distance.

 
 
 
Do not try this at home!! This is a trained actor who knows how to demonstrate improper body mechanics. He is picking up leaves with straight legs, causing his back to over-compensate for the reaching distance.
 
Pay special attention to the bent legs. Very important. Bent legs help the back to bend forward less without  spraining and straining. Remember, take short breaks.
 
 
 
BAD:
It would be far better to take a few steps to blow the leaves than to hold the blower in awkward positions just to remain in the same spot.
 

GOOD:
Way better. This leaf-herder is keeping the blower close to her body and walking with it as she needs to blow the leaves.

 
 
You have probably figured out by this point that stretching out and over while you are bending is not the way to go about these chores. This leaf-dragger will surely sprain her  back AND leg muscles.
 
Remain upright while dragging the leaves to disposal site. Keep tarp close to your body and don’t overload it.
 
 
 

BAD:
Hope this person has our phone number. She’ll need good treatment
for lots of aches and strains. She is bending over improperly to pick up heavy firewood.

 

GOOD:
We cannot emphasize enough how important it is to bend those knees. This fireplace owner is bending to pick up a few pieces of firewood...not a heavy load. A better way to load and carry firewood is to purchase a small cart to wheel into the room where fireplace is located.

 
Hope these demonstrations and few words of advice are helpful as you begin your Fall chores. Use proper body mechanics, take your time, take periodic breaks, and ice if you have overdone it. If the ice doesn’t take care of the aches and pains, call us. We’ll be glad to help. We’re pretty good at what we do.
 
 
 
 
 
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