Winter is coming to an end, and the spring months are here, and soon the yard work will be piling up. Many people will deal with back pain this spring that could be avoided. Nine out of ten people will have low back pain in their lifetime. This pain is usually brought on by doing things that aggravate or flare back pain such as mowing the yard whether pushing or riding, raking grass, using bad posture, lifting objects, pulling objects, and every other chore that the warm months bring. So what is the key to avoiding low back pain?
Preparing for the work ahead is paramount in preventing injury. Most yardwork will engage the lower back and core musculature repeatedly. If you can get these muscles in shape in the off season then obviously the workload will be less intense. If you don’t have the time during the cold months to strengthen those muscles, then posture and proper technique used throughout the day is crucial. Bending over repeatedly, pulling weeds, raking grass, pushing the lawn mower will grind the low back over and over again. Using your legs instead of bending at the waist will take strain off the back. After all the leg muscles are the biggest in the human body, why not let them do the work. Keeping your back straight and not slouching over will also help. The spine is made with natural curvatures, don’t fight these curves use them. Also stretching allows the muscles to warm up before use. This prevents muscle tightness and strain.
When pain does occur treatment always starts with conservative measures. Heat and ice can help alleviate pain as well as control inflammation. Medications such as anti-inflammatories can also help with controlling inflammation and limit the pain. Stretching and strengthening exercises are always encouraged. Rest when needed but getting off your feet completely for long periods of time can do more harm than good. If pain persists, then come see us at Prairie Spine & Pain Institute and we will get you back in the yard game in no time.
About The Author: Derek N. Morrow, PA-C is a physician assistant with Prairie Spine and Pain Institute. Derek works in the clinic setting as a health care provider seeing patients. He is also utilized in the operating room as a first assist in surgery. In the clinic setting, his key function is to diagnose new patients and conduct their initial treatment. He works directly with patients to establish customized treatment programs and to monitor their progress. He also conducts history and physical evaluations for many patients. He performs many office procedures including trigger point injections, large joint injections, and bursa injections, all with the help of ultrasound guidance. He is radiologically trained, and uses his knowledge of X-ray, Ultrasound, MRI, CT, and EMG-Nerve Conduction Studies to establish a diagnosis and determine the appropriate treatment. Derek is surgically trained and plays a vital role in the procedures we perform at Prairie Spine and Pain Institute.