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Avoid back injury during yard work

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) - The wind died down, so it's time to resume raking.

Dr. Alex Vidan, from Vidan Family Chiropractic, stopped by with how to avoid falling like a leaf from pain.

Dr. Vidan suggests stretching without bouncing for a total of 5 to 10 minutes spread over the course of your work.

He also stressed the importance of standing as straight as possible, and keeping your head up as you rake or mow.

When raking, try using a "scissors" stance.  Put your right foot forward and left foot back for a few minutes, then reverse, putting your left foot forward and right foot back.

Bend at the knees, not the waist, as you pick up piles of leaves or grass from the grass catcher.  Make the piles small to decrease the possibility of back strain.

When mowing, use your whole bodyweight to push the mower, rather than just your arms and back.

Drink lots of water, wear a hat, shoes and protective glasses.  And, to avoid blisters, try wearing gloves.

If your equipment is loud, wear hearing protection.  If you have asthma or allergies, wear a mask.

If you do feel soreness or stiffness in your back, use ice to soothe the discomfort.  Apply the ice for 20 minutes with a towel between the skin and ice.

If there's no improvement in two or three days, see your local doctor of chiropractic.

For more information on Vidan Family Chiropractic, visit: http://drvidan.com/