Tips for doing yard work with less pain :: An interview on eightWest

Yard work and back pain

After a long winter, we’re all ready to spend some time outdoors – and this time of year there’s plenty to do. At the first sign of a warm day many people head to the yard and spend all afternoon raking stray leaves, pulling weeds, and trimming the hedges. But, all that yard work can often lead to a sore back or cause pain in your legs and knees. It’s easy to overdo it as we put extra strain on our bodies. Gina Otterbein, Regional Director at Ivy Rehab in West Michigan, talked with the WOOD TV  eight West studios and shared her tips for reducing aches and pain while getting the yard ready for the warmer months ahead.

Yard Work Tips

  • Change your position often. Every 20-30 minutes you need to get up, stretch and change your position. This simple tip is going to prevent a lot of the common aches that we see after a long day doing yard work.
  • Avoid bending over and deep squatting when you’re pulling weeds. To ease the stress on your back and knees try using a knee pad and a stool or 5 gallon bucket to sit on so you don’t have to bend, reach, or twist as far.
  • When raking or using a weed trimmer, avoid twisting your spine, which can lead to back pain. Instead, walk with the rake or weed trimmer, engage your core, and use your feet so you’re not twisting.
  • Wear a pair of gloves when using power trimmers. The constant vibrations of the trimmer can lead to discomfort in your elbows, wrists, and hands. Gloves will reduce the vibrations, making your hands feel better the next day.

Feeling sore?
Yard work really can be a rewarding process, but the last thing you want is to spend the rest of the weekend indoors because of unnecessary muscle aches and pains. If you do happen to experience low back pain, or any other discomfort, give us a call! With a quick Telehealth session, we can assess the source of your pain and give you some exercises and a treatment plan to get you feeling good again in no time. We can also review what caused the pain in the first place and talk about how to avoid it next time you’re out moving around and doing yard work.

We’re now offering more options than ever for receiving therapy. Plus, you can see us with or without a referral from your physician. As part of the Ivy Rehab Network, there are three convenient ways to receive therapy treatment from us:

  • Telehealth sessions connect patients to their licensed therapists through a secure, HIPAA-compliant, fully encrypted, two-way video-call system. Patients can do therapy from the comfort of their home through a desktop computer, laptop, smartphone, iPad or tablet. Learn more about Telehealth here.
  • Therapy at home allows both new and existing patients to receive in-person therapy services. This includes one-on-one evaluations and treatment sessions in the comfort and safety of their home. Learn more about an in-home therapy session.
  • Therapy in our clinic: We are here to serve you. Schedule an appointment today.


View Our Previous Physical Therapy Segments on eightWest
If you missed any of our previous WOOD TV eightWest segments, you can view them at the following links. We’ve talked about various topics: Tips for comfortably working from home, Couch to 5k Training Programhow fitness can prevent cancertips to reduce holiday stress, reducing your chances for a fallis physical therapy painfulpediatric constipation and bed wettingback pain in women, physical therapy vs taking prescription pain medication, the lesser known issues we treat, benefits of physical therapypain during pregnancy and when caring for a newborn, our annual step challenge, senior and elderly fitness programs, having healthy kids and teens, reducing the chances for injuries by knowing the proper form when running and stretchingwomen’s health, and direct access to physical therapy in Michigan. With multiple west Michigan locations we’re offering physical therapy in Lowell and throughout the greater Grand Rapids area!

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