With the change of seasons, often times comes a shifting in responsibilities and an increase in physical demands that can challenge ones skeletal health. As we transition from summer to fall, the weather will be cooling off, and we often find ourselves putting away the lawn mower and garden tools and picking up the rake along with tuning up the snow blower. Besides doing the obviously potential stressful activity of raking and bagging leaves, it is not uncommon to find individuals perform activities such as repairing windows that are cracked, cleaning out gutters, painting trim, and organizing their garages.
When performing these activities, many individuals are keenly aware that they only have a short period of time to accomplish these tasks and often feel pressure to cram a lot of activities into a short weekend. When considering the events of a season, below you will find some suggestions to help you safely accomplish your tasks.
1. Tune up your snow blower so that it starts with ease instead of causing you to strain when starting it.
2. Avoid prolonged and repetitive bending at the waist, since this is the most common way to herniate a disc.
3. Be cautious with raking leaves. Raking is a strenuous activity that can easily cause a low back injury, especially in a poorly conditioned individual.
4. Recruit extra help. Consider recruiting a friend, family member or neighborhood child to help accomplish your tasks before the snow flies.
5. If part of your “winterizing” activities involves stockpiling firewood, try to do this during relatively warm weather, so as to minimize muscular strain.
6. Get a “body tune up”. Have a spinal and joint check-up to make sure that you go into the winter season with good joint mobility, minimizing the risk muscular and joint injury.