Fall in Vancouver: A Chiropractor’s Advice For Raking Leaves

It may be several months away, but this one’s been sitting on our desk for a while now and we thought we’d get it out there: how a Vancouver chiropractor rakes her leaves in a back-friendly fashion.

For a lot of people, raking is actually kind of a fun, relaxing way to reconnect with the blustery Autumn outdoors — for others, it’s just a chore. Either way, it almost always involves breaking a sweat and being a bit sore at the end of the day. Here’s how to keep that soreness at bay (but still get the job done!)

Get the Right Rake
Unless you’re a professional wrestler, the biggest baddest fan rakes at the hardware store are probably not the ones you want to use to collect leaves from a few hundred (or thousand) square feet of lawn. Pick a rake that stands up to about your shoulders, and that you can easily lift from resting on the ground to pointing at the sky in a single hand.

The second bit of equipment you need to put on is the appropriate clothing. Snug-fitting shoes with good arch support to keep your posture proper; supple leather gloves to protect your hands, and of course clothing that doesn’t restrict your movements.

Warm Up
As you should before any mildly strenuous physical exercise, warm up before you start raking. Take a walk around the block, then stretch your arms, legs, and back, paying special attention to any that are sore.

Keep your Energy and Hydration Levels High
Raking is a calorie-burner of an activity. Enjoy a hearty breakfast, get out and hit the lawn early to maximize your morning energy. Be prepared to whip up a light snack, and drink plenty of water. If you have a camel-pack or a beer-can-hat, you can keep your hydration with you while you rake; otherwise step inside every 45 minutes or so for a small glass of lemonade.

If It Hurts, Don’t Do It
Raking can cause not just back pain, but also pain in the shoulders, neck, and legs. Pay attention to your muscles, and if you start to develop a twich, cramp, or excessive soreness, just stop. Having a clean lawn isn’t worth a muscle strain no matter what the circumstances.

Of course, if you do end up hurting yourself even after following all this advice, a trip to a Vancouver chiropractic office should be able to get you right as rain again

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