As 2015 is quickly coming to an end, and fall is here, the tedious task of raking leaves, putting away the outdoor furniture and preparing our homes for the upcoming winter can be strenuous, placing enormous stress on our bodies, and placing ourselves at risk of injury. 

The laborious work required to clean your property can cause aches and pains of your neck, shoulders, knees, and back.  The question I always ask is: “Did you stretch before raking and blowing those leaves or lifting and moving that yard furniture?”  “Did you stretch after you finished with your fall clean up?” 

Most, if not all of you will say no, and that can be a tremendous mistake.  Warming up and cooling down our bodies after strenuous yard work or exercise is extremely important and should not be avoided.  Preparing our bodies for the workload and demands we are about to place on it is essential to prevent pain, soreness, and injury. 

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Raking and blowing leaves is a task that places us in a sustained and repetitive forward flexed posture, and a lot of twisting of our low backs and hips, which requires excellent spinal mobility, good flexibility of various muscles including your hamstrings and gluteals, and good core stability to protect your spine from various types of injuries such as herniated discs, strains or sprains, as well as facet impingement. 

Deficits in any one of these areas can be a recipe for injury. Poor body mechanics is a leading cause of various orthopedic injuries, and this occurs due to mobility, flexibility, strength, and stability deficits. 

There are a number of pain relieving remedies such as NSAIDs or anti-inflammatories that might take the edge off of your discomfort, but there are too often times when the nagging pain just will not go away.  This is a sign that the underlying issue has not been properly addressed. 

Sometimes, a combination of heat therapy, ice therapy, gentle stretching and therapeutic exercise is recommended to lessen or abolish these symptoms.  However, pain is a uniquely personal experience, and varies amongst individuals, thus many pain treatments do not work the same for all individuals. 

One should get better care for all facets of your body by educating yourself on proper body mechanics and lifting strategies, and seeking your options in reducing pain and restoring function, either chemically through medication, whether prescription or over the counter, or mechanically, such as through skilled physical therapy intervention. 

The use of physical therapy interventions is integral to almost all forms of orthopedic conditions, such as neck, shoulder, knee, and back pain.  Sometimes, physical therapy is the first line of treatment for these types of overuse injuries; other times it may help chronic pain, or provide rehabilitation after surgery.

 If you have any questions in regard to any injury or condition, and possible treatment options available in a relaxing and convenient environment, give us a call at (732) 499-4540. We specialize in many facets of physical therapy, focusing on complete patient satisfaction, and results. We also guarantee that each individual will be seen within 48 hours.  We are open 6 days per week, making ourselves available for our patient’s hectic lifestyles.  We accept all insurances.

Let us help you enjoy your life, without worrying about uneasy pain.  

 David De La Fuente, PT, DPT 

 Doctor of Physical Therapy         

Cornerstone Physical Therapy Health and Wellness Center, PC

77 Brant Ave.

Clark, NJ 07066


The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of or anyone who works for is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

Editor's Note: Cornerstone Physical Therapy Health and Wellness is an advertiser of TAP into Clark. To learn more about becoming an advertiser, call 732-447-8784 or email