By Dr. Jay Lipoff
When the mercury rises, many of us are possessed with the urge to get outdoors and prepare the garden beds, do yard cleanup, and maybe plant a new tree or shrub. For others, a relative or friend in need may be what prompts you to grab a rake. You may even try to do all of this in one weekend! Come Sunday night, you're apt to be bent over with back pain and a stiff neck. Whether you're tending your own garden or that of an older loved one, it doesn't have to be that way if you're smart.
BACK SAFETY: BEFORE YOU START
Here are some techniques that can save your spine while performing these four common backyard chores.
Raking and Hoeing
Raking is a one-sided chore because you tend to turn to one side and predominantly use one arm. Try to engage both sides of your body when performing the motion. Hoeing also puts more strain on one arm and hand.
With both rak