Avoid injury doing yard work this Fall

Fall is here, which means cooler weather, chorter days, pumpkin spice everything, and a new set of chores: yard cleanup.

Fall is beautiful, but it takes a lot of work to keep the yard with all that bending, lifting, and twisting. That yard work can lead to injury if you're not mindful of you're not mindful of your body mechanics.

Dr. Tim Lenters, orthopedic surgeon with River Valley Orthopedics and a member of Mercy Health's orthopedic team, came to share some tips to get your yard clean, while avoiding injuries from all that yard work.

Dr. Lenters says the key to avoid shoulder injuries during fall clean-up is changing your routine. The sudden burst of activity to take care of fall clean-up often leads to sore muscles and shoulder pain.

An overall conditioning routine, including shoulder and core exercises throughout the year, helps the body adapt to a change in routine easier and become healthier over time.

If things start to hurt, take a break, it can take up to four days to recover from a new activity or exercise. If you've been inactive for a while, don't expect that day of yard work to come off without some consequences to your body.

However, if the pain continues for more than a few weeks, it's time to see a doctor or orthopedic specialist.

Treatments usually involve advance imaging such as a MRI or CT scans. Conservative care is also often successful in restoring normal comfort and function to the shoulder.  Physical therapy, rest, and occasional corticosteroid injections are the first options orthopedic specialists go to first for treatment.

Surgery is highly effective for certain problems as well, although it is often not the first line of treatment. A shoulder surgeon will understand indications for surgery better than other health care providers and when it is appropriate.


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