Hard to believe that fall is upon us. With fall comes the preparation for winter and that means raking and yard clean up. This month’s newsletter will be focusing on “Plant and Rake without the Ache” developed by The Ontario Chiropractic Association.[1]

Gardening is a great way to stay active. Sadly, many individuals sustain injuries that could easily have been prevented.  Stretching before you start to do your yard work will help to alleviate any strain that may occur.  Don’t bounce, jerk or strain. Stretches should be gentle and should not cause pain.

Warm-Up Stretches Before Working:

Stretches for your sides:

  1. Extend one arm over your head.
  2. Bend left from the waist.
  3. Hold for 15 seconds and repeat to the right.

Your thighs:

  1. Lean against a tree.
  2. Bend your right knee and grasp your ankle with your left hand.
  3. Hold for 15 seconds and repeat with your left knee.

Your hamstrings:

  1. Stand.
  2. Reach your hands to the sky.
  3. Then, bending at the waist, reach toward your toes.
  4. Hold for 15 seconds.

Your wrists:

  1. Hold one arm out in front of you, palm down.
  2. Bend your wrist until the fingers point to the ground.
  3. Use your opposite hand to hold this position.
  4. Place your hands in “prayer” position, and press palms together.
  5. Keep your arm straight and place your palm in the “stop” position.
  6. Use your opposite hand to hold this position.

Your shoulders:

  1. Let your arms hang loose.
  2. Rotate your shoulders forward. Then rotate back.

Your arms and shoulders:

  1. Hug yourself snugly.
  2. Slowly rotate at the waist as far as is comfortable to the left, then right.

Your back:

  1. From a seated position, bend from the hips, keeping your head down.
  2. Reach for the ground.



Bend Your Knees to Lift With Ease

Before lifting something heavy, position yourself close to the object. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, keep your head up, and your feet and body should be pointing in the same direction. With your knees bent,  and your back straight, check the weight of what you’re lifting.

Use your leg and arm muscles to smoothly and slowly lift the load.

Make sure you’re in sync and keep the load close to your body. Pivot with your feet — don’t twist your body while carrying the load. Bend your knees and slowly lower the load to its intended place.

Do not lift heavy objects above your waist and avoid heavy lifting immediately after prolonged bending or kneeling.

Get some help with the heavy and awkward loads. Stand on something solid and slowly lift the load, keeping it close to your body, and pass the load to your helper.



The Correct Moves for Raking

Alternate: Make sure to alternate your jobs. Heavy. Light. Heavy. Light. This will give your back a chance to rest a little before another heavy job.

Change hands: We all have a dominant hand and a way that feels easier to rake or shovel.  By switching your hands, not only do you get used to using both hands, but you also take the strain off by changing the position of your hands.

Check your position: And change it often. Kneel, then stand. Or simply sit and relax for a while.

Lift right: Make sure your back is straight, and always bend your knees. Carry the load close to your body, and avoid heavy lifting immediately after bending or kneeling. If you have been bending and kneeling a lot, make sure to take a little break before lifting something heavy and do some back extensions first.


Rake right: Ease the strain on your back by putting one leg in front, the other behind. Switch legs and hands from time to time. This goes along with changing your hands.  Yes, it will feel awkward at first, but do it often and soon you will be a pro both ways.



Kneel to plant: Use knee pads or a kneeling mat to reduce the strain while you plant and weed. Keep your back straight and take breaks frequently.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, make an appointment for treatment so we can help you out.

Visit our website to schedule an appointment online at:



Contact us: Phone #: (519) 472-8700 or

Email: drjessalynnfrederick@gmail.com



Make sure to keep your eyes out in the office for our Halloween give away contest.

Coming up next month.



[1] https://www.chiropractic.on.ca/public/public-education/gardening/