Ah, spring is in the air. The sunshine, the budding trees, the fresh air! And the shoulder strains, knee sprains, and low back pain! It’s already begun – the first nice day finds us out in the yard for a marathon clean up, or on the bicycle for a five-hour ride. Fess up, you weekend warrior, you know who you are. This year, let’s be smarter.
Try stretching (properly!) before you do the spring cleaning. Ask us – we can show you if we haven’t alreadyLimit yourself to 90 minutes, and then walk away and live to clean/rake/rototill another day. This simple strategy works like a charm. If you do 30 to 90 minutes every day you’ll be caught up in no time. And then you can just see us for maintenance rather than for an injury.
Also, think biomechanically. In other words, think before you do. For example, set those feet wide apart and bend from your knees (butt out!). This holds true whether you’re vacuuming, weeding, or just picking up dog fur from the floor. If there’s lifting to be done, ask for help, or lighten the load and take a few extra trips. Change positions frequently when possible (e.g., when weeding). Use a kneeling pad so you don’t end up with bursitis in the knee.
We see the same injuries at the same time every year. For example, we can always tell when Lupe’s softball season starts without looking at his schedule, because that right hamstring and sacroiliac joint of his will bring him into our office. (It used to happen trying to stretch a single into a double. Now he blows it out on the way to first! Sorry, Lupe. That’s what you get for only thinking of us when you get a pain in the butt!)
For Dominique, it’s the right shoulder and neck. “So, outdoor volleyball started, eh Dominique?” And for Dave it’s his left rib cage and mid back. “Dave, there can’t possibly be any limbs left to trim on your property. Come to our house!”
The keys to a healthy spring and avoiding injuries? Start easy, prepare with proper stretching and appropriate exercise, and think about your body mechanics and positioning. Always stop before you get fatigued. And get into our office for some pre-exertion maintenance care. You’ll be glad you did!