Summertime is the time for getting outside and working in the garden, on the lawn or on any number of projects which may involve motions which can give your back fits.  The equipment available at your local hardware store for lawn and garden management can turn the average homeowner into a lawn specialist overnight!  But beware … the use of weed trimmers, leaf blowers, hedge clippers and tillers can be reason why your back suddenly stops you in your tracks.
Dr. David Mruz warns that using this type of equipment improperly can result in repetitive motion which can result in neck and back pain, as well as more serious muscular strains and tears.
Using Outdoor Equipment in a Safe Way
Dr. Mruz offers the following tips to help you enjoy a safe and productive time in the yeard:

  • No matter what the equipment, make sure it has a strap! Place the strap over your head on the shoulder opposite the side of your body from the equipment.  This placement will help to balance your center of gravity.
  • Be sure to switch sides from time to time to balance the muscles being used. Alter your stance and motion frequently.
  • Take frequent breaks.
  • When purchasing new equipment, consider devices powered by electricity. They tend to be lighter than their engine-powered counterparts.
  • When picking up or putting down equipment, be sure to bend from the knees, and not from the back. Keep the device close to your body as you lift.

If you do experience pain or discomfort after yard work, don’t hesitate to call our office for a checkup.
Image credit:  Ruthanne Reid via Compfight