Avoid Back Pain while Raking Leaves

The weather is cooling down and the leaves are falling, which means homeowners have a new weekend chore. A chiropractor offers some tips to help avoid back pain while raking.

Media Downloads

CCNS health and medical content is consumer-friendly, professional broadcast quality (available in HD), and available to media outlets each day.

Additional Assets

*Email us for video download password Content is property of Cleveland Clinic and for news media use only.

Media Contact

We're available to shoot custom interviews & b-roll for media outlets upon request.

CLEVELAND – The weather is getting colder and the leaves are quickly falling, giving many homeowners a new chore for the weekends. 

But before you grab that rake or leaf blower, it’s important to make sure you warm up first – otherwise you could get hurt. 
“We often underestimate maybe the ease of it. ‘Oh, I’m just raking,’ we put that in our heads, I’m just doing this thing, but actually when we do that repetitively it really does open the door for injury,” explained Chad Adams, DC, chiropractor with Cleveland Clinic.
Dr. Adams said raking leaves can be a pretty intense physical activity. You’re doing a lot of repetitive motions. 

The same goes for when you’re using a leaf blower.  

To help prevent injury, always lift with your legs, not your back. 

And don’t forget to stretch before and after you’re done. 

Some simple exercises you could do include shoulder circles, side bends, and pulling each knee to your chest while standing. 

Certain yoga poses, like getting on all fours and slowly arching your back up and down, are also great for your spine. 
“Quite often people think if I have a strong core, I’m going to be okay. Unfortunately, that doesn’t cover all of the areas in the spine that are subject to these kinds of forces,” Dr. Adams said. “So having a daily, consistent routine, whether it’s leaf raking season or not, is of the highest importance.” 
Dr. Adam said if you start to notice any discomfort or pain while raking, that should be your cue to stop for the day. 

And if the pain persists, you should get checked out. 

For Journalists Only

Sign up below to be added to our Daily Health Stories distribution list.

For more information on medical conditions and diseases, visit our Health Library.