Dr. Erin Sherwood- Chiropractor
Spring has finally sprung! With the snow melting, it reveals the return of green grass and spring flowers popping through the soil. Most notably, it also reveals the dead fall and leaves that I was not able to rake before the snow hit us last year. Every spring, I see an increase in patient’s coming to the clinic with lower back pain after raking and spring cleaning their garden beds. I too have also been left with an achy back following a long day of raking if I have not taken the proper steps to ensure my entire spine is working and moving optimally.
This time of year is the perfect time to start thinking about spinal health and mobility before getting into the summer months. A large component of raking is being able to appropriately bend and twist your back in various ways. The thoracic spine’s, your mid back, main job is to allow your body to twist and rotate.
The lumbar spine’s, your lower back, main job is to allow your body to bend forward and backwards. If one of these two areas is restricted and not allowing your spine to go through its full range of motion, another area of your spine commonly will compensate by moving too much, resulting is soreness and pain.
With patients, I often will explain that your spine likes to work as a team, every area has its own function. If one of these areas is slacking, then like in a team at work, another coworker/area of the spine will work overtime to make up for the area that is slacking. With raking, if you cannot twist through your thoracic spine, your lumbar spine will start performing the twisting motion. This leads to soreness in the joints as they are not doing their job appropriately.
If you are struggling with lower back pain after doing your spring clean up, book an appointment to have your spine assessed and to create a plan to get you pain free ahead of the summer months.
Leave a Reply.