Antidotes to Needing Urgent Care: Proper Raking Posture and Stretching

This fall, your hands will be full–with leaves. This is why you must prepare yourself for some heavy duty raking. Though yard work allows you to stretch your body, increase oxygen flow and tone up some muscles, it can expose those same muscles to injury.

Raking, bagging, mulching, and other movements requisite to getting the job done can strain your back, neck, shoulders, arms, and legs. If you don’t prepare physically for the task, you may end up seeking urgent care in Puyallup.

Proper Raking Posture

Proper Stretching 

Before wielding the rake, warm up and do some stretching, either inside or outside the house. Your muscles will then loosen up and your body will acclimate to the relevant motions needed.

When conditioning your upper back, straighten your arms out in front of you and clasp your hands together. Pull the shoulder blades apart gently before bending your head forward. For the lower back, get down on your hands and knees and then sit back towards your heels with your arms reaching forward. It’s as if you’re in a praying position.

The arms and neck have to be stretched as well. Place one arm across the chest. Using the other hand, pull the elbow inward until you feel the stretch in the back of the shoulder. Do this with the other arm as well. To exercise your neck, try to place your right ear to your right shoulder. While doing this, prevent the opposite shoulder from elevating. Then switch to the other side.

Lastly, don’t forget to stretch the different parts of your legs: the hamstring, quadriceps, and calf. Doing so will enable your legs to carry the weight and pressure of bending frequently when raking and bagging the leaves.

Proper Posture 

Injuries are often caused by improper posture. When raking, make sure that you’re standing with your legs shoulder-width apart. Slightly bend the knees to gain balance and support. Short strokes will ensure a compact workspace; reaching too far to rake leaves can cause a strain.

Switching sides also prevents strain. Even if you’re right-handed, make sure that you use your left hand as well to balance the pressure and avoid excessive use of only one side of your body.

Proper stretching and posture can be all it takes to a successful, pain-free, raking session. If you strain a muscle in the process, go to a U.S. HealthWorks Puyallup urgent care clinic for a checkup. 

Sources
Reducing Low Back Pain while Raking Leaves, oxfordphysicaltherapy.com
12 Tips for Avoiding Low Back Pain While Raking Leaves, easyrest.com

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