Avoid ‘rakes and pains’ this Fall season

(Toledo News Now) - As temperatures drop and you begin to fire up that furnace, local health experts are raising a red flag and urging you to be alert and prepared for Fall-related injuries.

Sprains and strains from raking leaves and cutting the grass continue to become an issue.  The CDC reports 42 million people per year end up in the emergency room from yard-related injuries.

Whether you're 23 or 53, health officials say you can take preventative measures without even necessarily realizing it.  They're urging you to warm up, cool down and take regular breaks to prevent strains in the back, neck and legs.

The use of proper equipment is also important.  Rakes should be the proper height with your body, the handles should be padded or you should be wearing gloves.

Finally, don't overload bags, as health experts say this is perhaps the biggest injury-causing issue.

"If you're going to be doing outside work, you ought to be cardiovascularly fit," said health expert Burt Rogers.  "If you're going to use power equipment, make sure you adhere to all the safety and guidelines of the equipment."

Rogers also says that when you're moving heavy things, you need to remember to lift with your legs and not your back.  You should also use proper posture, equally distribute your weight and bend at the knees.

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