Dr. Cummins’ Top 3 Tips to Keep You Healthy and Your Garden Sharp
Bellevue – What fun it is to plant our gardens and create something that will bring satisfaction all season long, as long as we don’t get injured in the process. Yes, injured from the garden. It doesn’t look like it could get you at first, but we here at Cummins Chiropractic & Wellness care for many injures from Weekend Yard Warriors this time of year.
All winter long, the lawn and trees have been saving up for Spring’s big growth. As we are enjoying longer Seattle days of partial sun (hey, we’ll take it), most people head out to get their yards in good looking order before we invite friends over for a BBQ. Feeling up for the task of the yard work at hand, out to the yard we go!
Here are the top 3 problems and solutions to keep your yard injuries at bay:
Problem #1: A New LONG Workout:
5 hours straight of yard work is different than most Weekend Yard Warriors regular workouts. Most of the injuries we see, not surprisingly, are from Weekend Yard Warriors that are in quite good shape. They workout at the Coal Creek YMCA or Crossfit Bellevue or do long walks through the Bellevue Botanical Garden to gain inspiration. Yes, you may be in good health and in good shape, but is your body ready for the duration of a big day in the garden?
- Tip #1: Take breaks and try to break up large yard projects over multiple days if possible. Remember to take your water breaks once an hour. During your work, every 10 minutes, take a quick rest and do an opposite movement for 1 minute. For example, if you are looking down pulling weeds, take a stretch and look up and back for a few stretches between dandelions.
Problem #2: NOT a Yard Specialist:
Unless you own and operate Bellevue’s best landscaping business and are in super good shape specific to your yard, then when an Average Joe takes on a specialized yard task like, pulling vines for three hours or wheel barrowing dirt for 4 hours, one’s body is going to pipe up and say, “Hey, what’s with the new movement? I’m good for a bit but at hour number two, I’m going to give you tendinitis or a pulled muscle!”
- Tip#2: When taking on a yard task, especially if specialized, include proper form. Be mindful to bend at the knees and bend at the hips. Avoid rounding the back or straining the neck. By setting your body up to do the yard work in the proper position, you will be minimizing stress on the smaller and less capable muscles, ligaments, and bones. A great example of this would be to bend your knees to pick up the wheel barrow instead of rounding and lifting with your back. Lifting with a rounded low back will fatigue the supporting muscles and could strain these muscles, the underlying ligaments that connect the spine, or the injure the disks with such a load. Also, take note of Tip #1 (quick review, take breaks!).
Problem #3: Turning Off your Ears:
We all know to “listen to your body”. However, the final problem that seems to get our Weekend Yard Warriors is when they turn off their ears and tune out their body communicating subtle signals of pain and discomfort. These subtle signals of pain are the body’s way of saying, “You may be able to do this right now, but something’s not quite right and a bigger pain signal may come if you push it!”.
- Tip#3: Listen to your body. Be aware of how your body is feeling and try to note if you are getting sore or hurt before it becomes a terrible problem. Be aware of the pressure you put on yourself to get a project done by a certain time (Mow the lawn before your mother-in-law arrives for brunch) and of the pressure to keep up with the Jones’ (Needing to get the beauty bark out of the driveway before the Somerset Neighbors give you an ‘eye’ for taking ‘too’ long). Your health is more important than your yard.
Hope these tips help keep healthy during your Weekend Yard Warrior tasks. If you do happen to have an injury (wake up with low back pain, a headache that doesn’t go away, or a back and/or neck muscle that won’t let go), do give us a call and Dr. Cummins will see if chiropractic can help and if not, will point you in the right direction for relief.
Anyone wishing more information may contact Dr. Cummins, whose office is located at 4122 Factoria Blvd. SE, Suite 202, Bellevue, WA (telephone 425-590-9158).
Cummins Chiropractic & Wellness provides a natural and drug free solution to help neck pain, back pain, headaches and injuries from car accidents through chiropractic, massage, decompression, cold laser, and auto injury recovery services for those seeking gold medal health in and around Bellevue, Seattle, Renton, Factoria, Issaquah and Newcastle.