Prevent injuries to the spinal column and vertebrae while working in the yard

Staying active is an important part of maintaining the health of your spinal column and vertebrae, and yard work can be a great form of exercise. For some people, it’s a chore, but for others, it’s a soothing hobby. No matter how you think of yard work, though, it can be a strenuous activity that must be performed with proper care and preparation to reduce the risk of injury.

Tips for preventing a neck or back injury

Tasks like raking leaves, trimming hedges and mowing the lawn require a wide range of spinal movement that can put a lot of stress on the vertebrae and other parts of the spine. Whether you are dealing with neck or back pain or trying to prevent it, it is important to take active measures to perform these tasks safely.

Here are a few steps you can take to protect your back when it’s time to tackle the lawn or garden:

  • Perform some gentle stretches. This does not need to involve anything too strenuous, a few back and joint stretches should suffice to loosen up the muscles and help prevent injury.
  • Always use your legs to lift heavy objects. Bend your knees and keep your spine straight, and never lean forward to pick up something heavy.
  • Kneel, rather than bend over. This is particularly important if the job involves using a spade to dig or hand trimmers to edge a sidewalk for more than a few seconds.
  • Alternate chores. Instead of raking for hours on end, rake for a few minutes, then mow the lawn or do some pruning. This uses different muscle groups and places less repetitive stress on the back.

Treatment for chronic neck or back pain

It’s important to listen to your body. If you do feel pain in the neck or back, stop working and begin to monitor your symptoms. While minor injuries like a muscle strain will usually improve in a short period of time with limited rest, pain that lasts longer than a few days or a week could be a sign of a spine condition like a herniated disc or arthritis. In this case you should see your doctor for diagnosis and treatment.

Chronic pain related to a condition affecting the spinal vertebrae, discs or joints can often be treated with a course of conservative care like physical therapy, medication, spinal injections or hot and cold compression. If surgery becomes an option, contact Laser Spine Institute to learn about the advantages our minimally invasive spine surgery offers compared to traditional open back surgery. Our outpatient procedures are a safer and effective alternative to traditional open back surgery and our patients benefit from a shorter recovery time and lower risk of infection and complication.^

Reach out to our team today for a free review of your MRI or CT scan* to determine if you are a potential candidate for minimally invasive spine surgery.