Early summertime is such a fun time to be working outside before the weather gets too hot. I use this time of the year to fix up my yard and get some outside projects done. Here are some tips to avoid injury:
1) If you have a lot of repetitive lifting or shoveling, make sure you switch sides you lift/shovel from, avoid twisting and hold/carry objects close to your body.
2) It’s worth repeating; lift with your legs, not with your back. Leg muscles strong and used for lifting, back muscles are small and are endurance muscles. Maintain good body mechanics; by maintaining the natural curves of your back, you decrease your chance of injury.
3) If you have to work over shoulder height, consider a stool or ladder and be sure they are stable before putting your weight on them.
3) If you need to lift something heavy, ask for help or use a mechanical device.
4) Remember, if you are sore after your outside work, an ice pack may help. Be sure to wrap the ice pack in a towel or pillowcase.
Always remember to stay hydrated. Use sunblock, hats and clothing to prevent too much sun exposure.
Hope you have fun with your summer yard work and projects, I always do.
Mark Reed Physical Therapist/Director Intermountain Physical Therapy – Nampa