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PHONE: 905-634-VIEW (8439)EMAIL:info@healthviewchiropractic.comLOCATION:115 Plains Road East | Burlington, Ontario

Re-LEAF Yourself of Back Pain!


Fall is a beautiful time of year with all the incredible colours around us, but it can also be a painful time for a lot of people – as they hurt themselves trying to clean up the leaves.  Raking is a physical activity that can help people stay active, but it can also lead to pains and strains if you don’t do it right.

So we have some simple ways to take the pain out of raking:


Warm Up – A simple 10 minute walk around your house, neighbourhood or on the spot will get your muscles warmed up and ready to go!


Stretch – Easy stretches of your arms, wrists, sides and legs can go a long way to getting you ‘raking ready’.  Remember to relax, and don’t overextend yourself.



Keep Moving – A lot of people plant their feet, then twist, turn and overreach in different directions to get those pesky leaves.  This can lead to strains in your mid and lower back.  Keep the rake handle close to your body to help maintain good posture throughout.


Take Breaks – You don’t have to rake the whole yard in 20 minutes.  Listen to your body.  Take frequent breaks and keep your body hydrated.  The discs in your spine need water to keep them cushiony and functioning properly.


And remember when bagging those leaves – make it manageable!  Keep your back straight and use your legs to do the lifting.  If the leaves are wet, it will make the bag deceivingly heavy and awkward to lift.  When it’s all done, take a few moments to cool down and the same light stretches you started with!



Winter means snow.  And for many of us, it also means pulling the shovel out, to get rid of it.

A lot of us are quick to get outside and propel that snow as far and as fast as we can.  But the truth is, we’re not doing ourselves any favours that way.  In fact, it’s probably making it worse.

We have a saying:  LIFT LIGHT TO SHOVEL RIGHT!

The Ontario Chiropractic Association has a few tips to make it easy on you and your back this winter:

  • PUSH IT, DON’T THROW IT – If possible, push the snow to one side.  A lot of injuries happen when people twist/turn and lift snow that is too heavy for them.  If you have to throw it, keep your body straight.

  • PICK THE RIGHT SHOVEL – Use a lightweight, non-stick, push-style shovel. A smaller blade will require you to lift less snow and a curved handle (like the one below) will require less bending.
(photo courtesy of Wirecutter.com)
  • BEND AT THE KNEES – Use your knees, leg and arm muscles to do the pushing and lifting while keeping your back straight.  And as we mentioned, avoid the twisting and tossing that you see many people do!

Using these tips should help you to avoid injury, while you clear your sidewalks, stairs and driveways of the snow.  Also, make sure you remember a few more things before you even step out the door:  stay hydrated (you are exercising after all), dress in layers and make sure your footwear has a good grip, so you don’t slip on any ice under the snow!

Be Well.  Stay Well.