Now that spring has arrived people are once again getting active. Some will end up in our office with injuries and some won’t. Who does and who doesn’t may depend on what they do and how they do it. At the present time we have patients coming in as the result of doing yard work and gardening.

Yard Work: When spring comes around we always get some yard work related injuries. The following are some simple tips and advice regarding yard work.

Work Smart: For my older patients I recommend breaking up the task of mowing the lawn. Perhaps doing just a portion at a time allows you to avoid overdoing it. Try mowing the front lawn today and if the weather cooperates, the back lawn tomorrow. If you are cutting branches try to avoid over-reaching and use a ladder when appropriate. Also you may at times want to have a professional help with the big jobs. It could be a good investment if doing so might help you avoid a back injury.

Get Help: I figure in a few months my grand daughter might be able to work the mower – lol. Working on the yard doesn’t have to be a lonely job, if the family can pitch in a little. Besides cutting the time down for doing the job, it’s good exercise for everyone. Actually, if you need to lift something heavy, a little help might go a long way. If you have kids in school or college, you might just want to put off a task until they get home. Lifting bags of stone, fertilizer or mulch is a good way to hurt your back. If you don’t have any help.

Riding Mowers: If you have a bad case of arthritis, you might want to consider purchasing a riding mower. If you are basically healthy and capable, a push mower should be just fine. It’s a great aerobic exercise and since it has to be done on a regular basis, it’s a good excuse to go out and get some fresh air. Since I run almost every day and I tend to have less free time (mostly because of insurance documentation) I cheat and use a riding mower sometimes. Generally, I don’t recommend running or riding mowers, but this is a case of “do as I say, not as I do”. A compromise might be a self propelled push mower.

Gardening: Now I don’t want this to be misconstrued as a commercial, but for years I have recommended the use of Preen. If you are not familiar with the product it’s a granular material that you shake onto your garden beds. It has no effect on plants that are already there, but it prevents germination of weeds. The best time to apply preen is early spring, to keep the weeds from getting started. Another suggestion if you are going to be leaning over and weeding for hours at a time – Get up and stretch often. This will give your back muscles a chance to clean out accumulated lactic acid (see my blog on Myalgia).

Enjoy the Great Outdoors: By getting outside and doing a little yard work you not only help beautify the town for everyone, but you get the added benefit of aerobic exercise. Work smart and get help when necessary, use a push mower and don’t forget stretching to avoid back strain when gardening.

Contact Us: If you have any questions regarding this blog don’t hesitate to contact Dr. George Bennett DC, 2193 Riverton Rd., Cinnaminson – 08077. Our contact information can be found right here in our website – under the heading “Contact”. Call us or write us and come back often as we will regularly try to update our blog. Thanks for visiting and see you soon.

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