Every single year at this time, I have people complain about back pain from leaf raking.
My best advice—-use your teenage slave labor to help them pay for their activity fees. My second best advice- hire it out. Is it expensive? They range from about $50 to $500. It’s worth getting a bid. I can guarantee that two weekends of your life and constant stiffness and soreness is probably worth at least $100. (Especially when you will have to pay it to me anyway to fix you) I have a point, don’t I?!
If you are going to rake those leaves yourself, follow the following advice.
First–Use a blower. Much better for your back than actually raking.
Second–Whether using a blower or rake, switch sides. If you are very dominant on one particular side, it is good for you to do it differently. You might be clumsy at first, but as my chiropractic training proves, you can learn how to use them both equally. It takes two hands to be a chiropractor…obviously. I was born right handed. After all these years, I am pretty ambidextrous. Switching will spread the work out and help you use your muscles equally on both sides.
Third- Use a wheelbarrow to move your big heavy leaf bags and don’t let them get wet before you bring them to the curb. They are really heavy then.
Fourth- Take frequent breaks. Just like any repetitive physical task, it isn’t good to do it for hours on end. Take a break every 20-30 minutes to stretch and do something different.
Fifth- Stretch afterwards and if you need it, use an ice pack. Do NOT use heat. I repeat, do NOT use heat unless you want back spasms.
Sixth- Pre-schedule an appointment with your chiropractor. You are going to need it and even if you don’t immediately feel pain, just know it is good to go in and preserve the alignment of your spine and get it moving and functioning at it’s best.