Are You Raking Right?

While most people think of pumpkins and changing leaves, when the season changes to fall chiropractors are all thinking one thing – raking. Although not high on the list for “dangerous” activities, raking injures more people every year than you might think.

The main reason people experience pain either during or after raking leaves is because of the repetitive movement that, if done wrong, can lead to injury.

Use these four tips to help stay healthy and comfortable this fall, even when you’re tackling those big piles of leaves.

  1. Practice Good Posture. Raking while you’re standing up straight helps to prevent back and shoulder pain. If you try to rake stooped over, you’re sure to feel it the next day.
  1. Rake Right. Just as you should practice good posture while raking, you should also practice safe mechanics while working. Remember to keep your knees bent slightly and to switch your top and bottom hands regularly to spread the repetition between both sides of the body.
  1. Use A Better Rake. That rake you’ve had in your shed for years? Chances are there’s a better one out there. Take the leap and make a serious upgrade to a power rake or mulched to really take a load off this fall’s work.
  1. Warm Up First. This is a workout. And it should be treated like one! Just like you warm up before you go for a jog, you should also take a few minutes to warm up and stretch before raking. And, if you get too tired, don’t feel bad about taking a break. Most injuries occur when you get too fatigued to maintain proper posture and ergonomics.

While it might not be considered fun by most people’s standards, it can be done safely to make sure you’re not aching or injured the next day!

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