Avoiding the 'Rakes and Pains' of Autumn Yard Work
Fall is fast becoming the season for back injuries, tumbles from ladders and lawn mower accidents
As the leaves turn different colors and the weather becomes cooler, many Americans begin to engage in outdoor cleanup. Consider the number of Americans injured in yard work accidents every autumn and you may begin to suspect that "fall" is actually short for "pitfall." Fall, it seems, is becoming the season for back injuries, tumbles from ladders and lawn mower accidents.
"Approximately 42 million people seek emergency room treatment for injuries each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention," says Brett Taylor, MD, spokesperson for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS). "Many of these injuries can happen while performing seemingly routine tasks, like autumn yard work."
Here are some easy tips to avoid common autumn injuries while in the yard:
Rakes and Pains
Brightly colored fallen leaves are one of the charms of autumn, but raking them also sends thousands of people to emergency rooms each year. Raking is vigorous exercise, and you should pay close attention to your arms and back to avoid injury.
To prevent injury from raking:
• Warm up for at least 10 minutes with some stretching and light exercise.
• Use a rake that is comfortable for your height and strength. Wear gloves or use rakes with padded handles to prevent blisters.
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