Spring is the season which invites everyone back outdoors after a long, cold and rainy winter. While we are excited to get started on all our fair weather projects, we must remember that our muscles have become tight and deconditioned through disuse over winter and are susceptible to injuries, especially if we do too much too fast.
Here are some simple tips to help you approach your tasks with safety.
- Avoid prolonged, repetitive motions by rotating tasks every 15 minutes.
- Keep a neutral wrist position while planting and pulling weeds to prevent compression of the nerves in the carpal tunnel.
- Wear gloves and dig with tools to protect your hands from cuts, burns, blisters, fungus and chemicals.
- Consider hiring professionals for tasks such as tree pruning to avoid serious injuries.
- Only carry loads you can see over or around to prevent falls.
- Get help moving heavy items. If by yourself, make sure to bend your knees and lift with your legs, not your back.
- Complete tasks over several weekends instead of trying to do everything at once.
- Warm up, stretch and ramp up activity gradually.
- Listen to your body and avoid playing through pain.
- Baseball players – see an Armworks therapist if you experience pain on the inner elbow for more than a week.
While you may have the cardiovascular endurance to keep going, your muscles and tendons need to gradually increase their activity after a long break. If pain lasts longer than a couple days, or is not relieved during warm up, your tissues are being injured. SportsCare and Armworks can help you recover properly after overdoing it during those first sunny days of Spring.