Do you love to rake? If you do, we’re headed into what is probably your favorite time of year! The trees in New Jersey are turning, and soon they will drop their leaves, creating a vibrant, crunchy carpet. This is an especially great time of year for anyone who likes to play in the leaves. It is also the time of year we notice people hurt their backs. Raking can be a calming, meditative activity that gets you outside, but it can also use your body in ways it isn’t used to, and your back will probably take the first hit. The good news is, you can enjoy raking without being laid up the next day. We are here to share some great tips to help you do just that!
Warm up first
Almost nobody warms up before raking. It doesn’t seem like they need to. However, it can make a big difference, especially if you have a preexisting injury that easily flares up. Take five to ten minutes to absorb the fall day with a brisk walk around the block, and your body will be more ready to dive into action.
If you’ve ever raked before, you know the repetitious movement can quickly cause painful blisters. Gloves can go a long way in preventing these annoying injuries to your skin. If you decide to wear gloves, you’ll be grateful the next time you wash the dishes or your hair!
Select a good rake
A rake that is too tall or too short will force you into awkward postures that quickly strain your muscles. There’s no exact science to it, but try to use a rake that feels comfortable. You should also consider the width of the rake. A narrow rake clears a smaller area in one swipe, but it will make things lighter. A wide rake clears a bunch of leaves at once, but it will be a heavier job. Both work; it’s just a matter of finding what is best for you.
Do you need a leaf blower?
If you aren’t sure you can rake without straining your back, you have options! A leaf blower is a powerful option. You can blow the leaves onto a tarp and then get help stowing them. We recommend you look for a blower that can be worn like a backpack – these are lightweight easy tou se.
There’s nothing like stepping out into a clear fall day with a rake in your hand. The last thing you want is to end the day taking anti-inflammatories and dreading those first steps out of bed tomorrow. While a little discomfort is normal, if you experience back pain that doesn’t improve after a few days, it is time to make an appointment with us. Whether it’s an old injury flaring up or something new, you will want the experts at the Spine Institute in your corner. We offer everything from epidural steroid injection to minimally invasive spine surgery. Learn more about what we can do for you today!