Spring is over and summer has hit us today. As the weather becomes warmer we all want to be spending more time outside. We find ourselves trying to tame gardens that are growing out of control after not receiving as much attention during winter. This activity can leave us stiff and sore…
If we have been a bit of a couch potato during winter and then got outside over the weekend, dug a bunch of holes, tamed some hedges and started rigging up the Christmas lights it is probably pretty obvious why our back hurts. Allowing ourselves to become deconditioned and then doing repetitive activities we haven’t done for months often leaves our body feeling sore and stiff.
Unlike working out at the gym, the forces on our body in the yard are less predictable. For example how much force will it take to pull that tree root out? Lots to begin with and then none as it comes free and we suddenly fall backwards. Tasks such as digging holes and suddenly coming across a rock sending a shock up our arms into our back involve unexpected resistance. Yard projects also tend to last longer than workouts. On top of this we often try to just to rush through yard work without taking breaks to stretch or think about the position our body is in.
Here are a few tips to prevent future back pain from yard work:
1. Loosen up a bit before starting the job (check out our blog on stretching) focusing on some mobility work on the joints and areas of your body you will be using during the house and yard work.
2. If you have a big project like a trailer load of wood chips or mulch you want to lay, commit to doing it for an hour and then taking a break. Whilst we all want to get these jobs done as soon as possible hours on end of repetitive work can lead to repetitive stress injuries and strains.
3. Identify weak spots in your body and stretch them after your yard work. Spend a few minutes after finishing stretching out some of those tighter spots so you don’t wake up feeling stiff and sore the following morning,
If you are already experiencing some form of back pain as a result of yard work feel free to contact the office here.