As Mishock Physical Therapy & Associates gets ready to welcome the warmer weather, we wanted to reach out with a few tips for those of you who will inevitably begin the process of spring cleaning both inside and outside the home.
Lawn mowing, raking, cleaning out your gutters, and gardening are all activities that can cause muscle strain to the lower back, neck, and shoulders. A strained muscle occurs when we overdo an activity that we are not accustomed to performing. For example, we may perform hundreds of back-and-forth motions to clear and dig out our garden beds with a rake, hoe, or shovel. This repetitive activity creates micro-trauma to the muscles leading to inflammation and pain. In most cases the pain should stop within 24-48 hours; but in some cases the pain does not go away and it is time to consult with a physical therapist. Our physical therapists are highly-educated, licensed health-care professionals who can help patients reduce pain and improve or restore mobility — in many cases without expensive surgery or the side effects of prescription medications.
At Mishock Physical Therapy & Associates we take pride in the time we spend with hands-on techniques. Everyone receives 20-30 minutes of hands-on manual therapy treatments, which improves joint/soft tissue mobility and decreases pain levels by reducing abnormal stress on the tissues. The program we design for you will be specific to your needs and will focus on improving strength, flexibility, and conditioning.
Tips to Avoid Spring-time Back Injuries
•Lift smaller loads of dirt or leaves rather than heavy shovelfuls. Take care to bend your knees and lift with your legs rather than with your back.
•Use a shovel, rake, or hoe with a handle that lets you keep your back straight while lifting. A short handle will cause you to bend more to lift the load. Using a device that’s too long makes the weight at the end heavier.
•Step in the direction in which you are tossing the dirt or leaves to prevent the low back from twisting. This will help avoid the “next-day back fatigue.”
•Take frequent breaks when doing any sort of physical chore. Stand up straight and walk around periodically to extend the lower back.
•Standing backward-bending exercises will help reverse the excessive forward bending that occurs during many outside tasks. Stand straight and tall, place your hands toward the back of your hips, and bend backward slightly for several seconds.
Should any spring cleaning injuries cause you pain this season- or if you are simply curious about what physical therapy has to offer please give us a call for a FREE phone consultation with a Physical Therapist at 610-327-2600 or visit our website at www.mishockpt.com. Mishock Physical Therapy has five convenient locations to serve you in Phoenixville, Skippack, Gilbertsville, Limerick and Barto.
John R. Mishock, PT, DPT, DC is one of only a few clinicians in the state of PA with a doctorate level degree in both physical therapy and chiropractic.