Fall Clean Up- Don’t Tense Up

The leaves have been changing colours for weeks, frost is appearing and it won’t be long before we get our first snowfall. The weather is encouraging us to huddle up in doors and stay warm. Its’ also the time to finish the leaf raking and yard clean up, put away the patio furniture, close up the pool or  turn over the garden for the winter. Gardening especially cannot be put off once the frost is on its way. Although we are in a hurry to get our fall chores done it is important to try and not strain ourselves. It is easy to get caught up and forget to be safe and not strain our bodies, specifically our lower backs.

Our back isn’t meant to handle all the strain put on it from improper lifting, too much lifting or twisting improperly. The best way to avoid lower back pain is prevention. It is best to spread out the workload over a few days rather than to do it all at once. If time is not available to spread out the work load at least remember to do some light stretching before and after to prevent harm to the body.

If the pain has already present itself try icing the area for 10 to 15 minutes with an ice pack, two to three times per day, to decrease the swelling that may build up around the joints and nerves. Getting to the pain too late or if the pain is severe it may be beneficial to consult a chiropractor to help restore normal movement of the area.

Chiropractors perform “adjustments” or “manipulation” of the affected joints to restore their mobility. By having good mobility in the swollen and sore joints the swelling can be flushed out, the circulation inside the joint is improved, and the joints heal much faster with less pain. The chiropractor assists in making your body work more efficiently and at a faster rate for recovery.

Taking time to stretch regularly can reduce any accumulated pain and allow you to move with greater ease and comfort. Benefits of stretching include:

  • Reducing muscle tension
  • Permit easier movement and increase your range of motion
  • Prepares your body for activities
  • Prevent future injuries
  • Allows you to develop more awareness of your body’s capabilities
  • Reduce stress and overall feel good

Try to stretch in a relaxed manner, focusing on the area of pain without bouncing, bobbing jerking or stretching to far that it causes pain.

Spine and hip rotation exercise example:

  • Lie on your back on the floor with your knees bent and feet on the floor.
  • Lift your knees toward your chest, wrapping your arms around the knees to pull them closer to the chest.
  • Next, spread your arms out to the side and bring your right arm toward your left arm as your legs rotate toward the floor on the left.

Reverse the motion to stretch in the other direction.
Repeat the stretch two to three repetitions twice a day.