When the rain showers subside here in the Pacific Northwest, we all love to take advantage of the great outdoors. Cleaning the rain gutters, mowing the lawn, moving furniture or gardening may present injuries. Let’s face it, when the sun comes out, we want to do everything outside!
Consider these statistics:
- According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 35,500 people injured themselves while using a stepladder.
- More than 41,000 Americans injured themselves while gardening or using gardening equipment
- More than 127,000 people were injured while operating a lawn mower
Many common injuries, including tendonitis, sprains, strains or breaks, can be prevented with proper technique. ProOrtho providers offer helpful tips for tackling all your spring plans:
- Stretch – Stretch your arms, back and legs for several minutes before heading out to the garden or before cleaning out your basement or garage.
- Squat – Avoid bending! Make sure you are lifting with your legs. It’s important to squat when making a bed or shoveling dirt or mulch.
- Lighten your load – When you are shoveling, try not to lift more than you can manage – This is when people tend to hurt themselves. By using proper body mechanics, you may prevent an injury from occurring – Use your entire body to shovel; your hip and thigh muscles are some of the largest and strongest in the body, so put them to work.
- Take a break –To avoid repetitive stress injury, rotate tasks that involve doing the same motions again and again (raking, digging) every 15 to 20 minutes and briefly rest or stretch in between.
- Slide and push heavy or awkward objects.
- Secure and stabilize a ladder before climbing.
According to Dr. Jeff Stickney, orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine expert at ProOrtho, “The majority of injuries we see are preventable. Take a few extra minutes to secure ladders before climbing on them and avoid repetitive activities.”
If you are suffering from a spring-related injury, call Dr. Stickney at ProOrtho and schedule an appointment at 425-823-4000.