Preparing for Fall Clean Up

Many people think of “warming up” before going to the gym or playing their favorite sport. However, stretches and warm-up exercises are a smart choice before performing any strenuous activity. A warm-up serves to gradually increase blood flow to the muscles that will be used during that physical activity.

Adequate stretching can significantly decrease your chance of physical injury. Because exercise takes many forms, when you get ready to do all the cleanup needed during the fall, be smart and warm up, first! A little time to prep your body will reduce your risk of back pain as well as a shoulder pain.

Pruning Hurts Your Limbs
The change of seasons leading into fall often means it’s time to break out the pruning shears. If you’re like many people, then you may not have touched those shears in a year or more. In fact, your half-grown trees likely have not seen pruning shears since they were mere little saplings.

While it’s admirable to pick up those tools, your enthusiasm may end in chiropractic care when you develop shoulder pain. The pruning shears that feel light as a feather when you start in on those hard-to-reach tree limbs and hedges can soon feel like lead weights suspended above your head. Warming up your shoulders and arms with a stretching routine before you start the pruning process keeps you aware of your body’s limits.

Weeding, Harvest & Whining
By the end of last summer, you were a champion-weeder. You may have spent an hour bending down and leaning over to rid your garden of those pesky dandelions and other interlopers. But this year, you started out right where you left off last year. After one day of weeding for an hour, you probably couldn’t move the next day. A stiff back set in and every move radiated pain.

If you sought chiropractic care, undoubtedly you heard about the importance of stretching and doing a warm-up routine before working in your garden.

As the summer ends, that becomes particularly important. While preparing to harvest any root vegetables, be sure to gently stretch before leaning down repeatedly to dig for potatoes. This physical activity is nearly identical to weeding. When you stretch, make sure that you do not bounce to increase your stretch. Bouncing can lead to strained muscles.

Rakes, Leaves, Bagging and Pain
One of fall’s classic chores is coming. As leaves start to fall, you pull out the old rake to keep your lawn and sidewalks tidy. Warming up and performing gentle stretches is crucial to avoid shoulder pain and back pain. The body twists during the raking process. This twisting leads to joint stress. It often doesn’t take long before the pain becomes unbearable. A series of warm-up exercises will start your blood flowing to the muscles throughout your body.

When you complete your warm-up, do not overdo raking and bagging the leaves. Start out raking a small area. If your body cooperates, you can always go back out after a few hours and rake for another 10 minutes after stretching warming up again. Remain aware of any strain in your back muscles when you start to bag the leaves. Don’t try to work through the pain. Remember that taking breaks is NOT the same as giving up. Listen to what you r “body is saying”. Unnecessary pressure on joints and ligaments can lead to injuries that turn severe if you do not stop.

Use common sense and pay attention to your body this fall. While clean up is important, your health is far more important. Even the best plans and intentions can end up with strains and pains. When you need help to return your back and joints to normal functioning, contact Rush-Henrietta Family Chiropractic, at 585-321-3200.