Scroll Top

Rake Without the Ache

Fall in Canada is a spectacular season full of colour but it can also mean a lot of work around your home. Raking and yard clean-up are necessary before the snow arrives whether we like it or not. On the plus side, raking is a great way to stay active outdoors and have fun this fall! Raking can take a toll on your body if you’re not careful. Many people sustain injuries this time of year that could easily be prevented with a little know-how.

Tips to keep your spine in line while you rake

Keep in mind these helpful tips to achieve efficient raking while having fun!

1. Avoid the wind (or work with it):

Try and pick a day when it is calm outside. A windy day can turn a small job into a daunting task with extra and unnecessary work. If the day you can do the job is a windy one, raking into the wind allows the breeze to aid in the task at hand.

2. Be patient:

Clear walkways and high-traffic areas of leaves on an ongoing basis, but wait to tackle your whole yard until all the leaves are down. It might bother you to sit idly by and let the leaves pile up, but waiting until the branches are bare will save you hours of work. Be patient and get the yard work done when it’s necessary, not every week.

3. Pick the right tools for the job:

That old rusty metal rake in your shed might look like it still has life in it, but it may be time to upgrade your garden tools. There are many lightweight, ergonomic rakes out there that can save you lots of time and prevent injury. There are also rake alternatives, including push-power leaf collectors that help take some of the physical strain out of raking.

4. Warm-up:

Before tackling the yard, warm up for 5-10 minutes to get the joints moving and increase blood circulation. Try marching on the spot, climbing stairs or a quick walk around your property. Follow this with gentle stretches for your back, arms, shoulders and legs. Never bounce jerk or strain when stretching. A warm-up ensures your body is ready for action!

5. Rake right:

Ease the strain on your back by putting one leg in front, the other behind. Switch legs and hands from time to time.
Check your position: And change it often. Kneel, and then stand. Don’t forget to take breaks and sit and relax for a while.

6. Bend your knees to lift with ease:

Avoid heavy lifting immediately after prolonged bending or kneeling. Get close to the bag of leaves you will be lifting and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, head up. Keep your feet and body pointing in the same direction and keep your back neutral.

7. Stop raking immediately if you feel pain:

If you have back pain that is severe or persists for more than a day, contact your chiropractor or physiotherapist to schedule an appointment or for more information.


Fall is a beautiful season and an opportunity to get outside and for some family time while tackling much-needed chores. Raking has dual benefits. It’s good for the grass and its good physical exercise for us. All you need is a rake and keep in mind these helpful tips. Most importantly, don’t forget to have fun!

For a complete evaluation of your pain and how to address it, contact our team of MSK experts to book an assessment today. Call our Glebe Clinic at 613-237-9000 or our Byward Clinic at 613-869-8600.

Related Posts