The Most Common Leaf Raking Injuries — And How to Avoid Them

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Leaf raking may be a hallmark of the autumn season, but it can also be surprisingly risky. From slips and falls to overuse, a variety of aches and pains can arrive as you tackle fallen leaves.

Next time you head outdoors to rake leaves on a brisk fall day, take extra care to avoid these common injuries:

Broken or Twisted Ankle

Many leaf raking injuries can be blamed on wet leaves, which make it far too easy to slip and fall. Stumbles can also occur if you accidentally step in shallow divots covered by leaves. To reduce the risk of injury, watch your footing closely and avoid raking shortly after it rains.

Spine Injury

From twisting motions to hunched shoulders, a variety of leaf raking behaviors can prompt backaches. With repetition, these problems can also lead to surprisingly severe spinal injuries. To limit this damage, stretch before raking and pay close attention to your posture.

Focus on arm motions to avoid twisting your back. Keep the rake near your body, with one hand positioned near the top of the handle.

Back injuries may also accompany the bagging process. When lifting heavy bags of leaves, bend with your knees and keep your back straight

Intersection Syndrome

Heavy raking sometimes leads to a type of forearm pain known as intersection syndrome. This overuse injury is most likely after raking a large space for a long period of time. It’s best avoided by raking over several days, rather than all at once.