Skip to main content
Banner: Health blog - Yard work giving you back pain?

Yard work giving you back pain?

A physical therapist from Physicians Neck & Back Center has 5 tips to help you have a pain-free fall

By Scott Gorham, DPT
October 16, 2017

      share on LinkedIn

Fall is here, and with it comes the change in colors and cooler temperatures. While the season has its perks, one thing that’s hard to escape is the amount of yard work. If you're not careful, a long day of raking and pulling weeds can take a toll on your body, especially your back.

To avoid developing back pain while getting your yard ready for winter, follow these 5 guidelines:

  • Take 5 to 10 minutes to warm up and stretch prior to doing yard work. I recommend taking a 5-minute walk, and then following up with 5 minutes of stretching.
  • When work requires you to be on your feet, stand as straight as possible and avoid slouched positions. Think chest up, buttocks out.
  • While raking, use the chest up, buttocks out position, too. Use more leg movement by stepping back and forth, as opposed to excessively moving the trunk of your body (the part that goes from your neck to your hips).
  • When picking up objects such as large bags of leaves, sticks or weeds, squat down. Bend at your knees, not your waist.
  • If you are working outside for long periods, try regularly switching up the way your body is positioned. Rotate between spending time on your hands and knees, spending time in a half-kneeling position and spending time in a full-squat position.

These guidelines will help keep your back aligned and help you avoid potentially harmful postures. Generally, using more leg movement while keeping your trunk in a natural position will help you perform heavy labor without the associated back pain.

Around 80 percent of adults experience back pain at some point in their lives. Don’t let neck and back pain hold you back from doing what you love. The treatment offered at Physicians Neck & Back Center (PNBC) is designed to help patients increase muscle strength, endurance, mobility and function. And it’s been proven to provide lasting pain relief.

In addition to the Maple Grove location where I work, PNBC has locations in:

About Scott Gorham, DPT

Scott Gorham is a physical therapist with Physicians Neck & Back Center in Maple Grove. He enjoys competing in triathlons, cheering for the Minnesota Vikings and spending time with friends.

Back to top