Fall is quickly approaching which makes me think of the cooler weather, the leaves changing colors, wearing boots and layers, and enjoying a meal outside. It also means the unwanted chore of raking the leaves. Some common injuries with raking are easily avoidable if the raking is performed with a proper ergonomic form and a few of the tips below are kept in mind.
- Use an ergonomic rake with cushioned handles and a handle length appropriate for your height.
- When raking, keep your head and neck up, avoid leaning your neck forward.
- Stagger your feet with one foot in front of the other to give yourself a longer reach without bending over. Change which foot is in front occasionally to help change the way your body is working.
- Bend at your knees and hips, not in your back when you reach to the ground to pick up the leaves. If possible, have someone help you with holding the bag to make it easier.
- Avoid making the piles too large or picking up too many leaves at one time to decrease strain on your back.
- If you are getting sore or start to hurt while raking or picking up leaves, do not continue through the pain. Take a break and ask a family member or neighbor for help.
Should you experience a sprain or injury while raking leaves, our specialized therapists at the Milliken Hand Rehabilitation Center can help get you back to your chores with appropriate exercises and recommendations.