Be careful while doing yard work this spring

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The state-of-the-art equipment available today for lawn and leaf management can help turn the average homeowner into a lawn specialist overnight. But the use of weed trimmers, leaf blowers and hedge clippers has also been causing many summertime landscapers to put excessive strain on their joints and backs.
The American Chiropractic Association warns that using this equipment can result in back and neck pain, as well as more serious muscular strains and tears if not used properly.
It is essential to operate your yard equipment properly otherwise the symptoms your body encounters may be multiplied.
Regardless of what piece of equipment you are using, Be sure you are operating the unit in a safe and comfortable position. Consider support straps, comfortable, steel-toed, footwear, anti-vibration gloves and wrist guards.
Always follow the manufacturer's instructed as it will serve to help normalize your center of gravity. Try to switch operating positions during extended uses the side that you are operating the equipment on as often as possible to help balance the muscles being used; alternating your foot stance frequently may also be beneficial.
Be sure to take frequent breaks from the activity of the day, giving your muscles a needed break as muscle fatigue may be felt when using a piece of equipment for an extended period of time.
If you consistently experience back or neck pain consider electric- powered items as they tend to be much lighter that their gasoline- powered counterparts.When picking up or putting down your equipment, be sure to bend from the knees, not at the waist. Keep the object close to your body as you lift, not at arm’s length.It is vital to operate your yard equipment safely, and I believe it is equally important to prepare your body before you begin to work to be safe too. Therefore, be sure to include a warm-up/cool-down period that involves stretching to help avoid injury. 
Stretch as far as you can comfortably, gently and smoothly.  Simple stretches can help relieve some of the aches and pains, you should not feel pain. Don’t bounce or jerk your body in any way. Also, breathing appropriately can sometimes make stretching more beneficial and refreshing. Try to breathe in and out slowly throughout each stretching exercise until your muscles reach their fullest potential. At that point, hold your breath in for a moment, and then when you relax… breathe out.
Remember being comfortable will allow you to be more productive, efficient and most importantly safer. If operating position feels unnatural, it will likely cause you pain and discomfort if you do not change it.  There are a number of ergonomic, affordable and reliable accessories available to make your tasks that much easier.
If you find your tool is more a hassle and pain, we encourage you to bring it in so we can assess how to make your job easier.  
We look forward to helping you make lawn work an enjoyable part of your summer routine.


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