Has Yardwork Been Making Your Shoulders Ache?

Has Yardwork Been Making Your Shoulders Ache?

Has Yardwork Been Making Your Shoulders Ache?

Do you have trouble reaching overhead at the end of a long day in your garden, pulling weeds, or raking your yard? Do you notice pain when lying on your shoulders at night? At Maximum Rehabilitation Services, our occupational therapists can help you find relief for your shoulder pain and teach you how to manage it while working around your home!

Anyone who does a lot of work around their home and garden knows how common sore shoulders can be. Although many do not consider gardening a strenuous activity, the reality is that gardening can result in as many injuries as sports, with shoulder pain high on that list.

One of the main contributing factors to shoulder pain while working in the yard is inadequate or non-existent preparation of any kind. Too many people consider working in the yard a casual day in the fresh air. Reality sets in with the stiff, sore shoulders after a day of repetitive tasks and prolonged positioning.

If you’re struggling with pain and/or stiffness in your shoulders, request an appointment at Maximum Rehabilitation Services today and let our therapists help you feel good again!

What are the most common causes of shoulder pain when working around your home?

Many of the gardening and yard work issues are due to repetitive motions. For example, bending over on your hands and knees to pull weeds adds stress to the upper back and shoulder muscles. Shoveling, raking, and mulching contributes to muscle soreness and joint stiffness, especially after a long workday.

The shoulder is an integral part of gardening and yard work. Your shoulders rely on proper form/technique, mobility, and strength to safely perform the strenuous work required around your home. Pain can prevent you from enjoying your day, and for some, it will prevent them from doing the work at all.

The most common causes of shoulder pain include overuse strains on the rotator cuff muscles and tendons. Often improper form or poor postural positioning can put the shoulder in a vulnerable position leading to pain and injury. Fortunately, our occupational therapists are skilled at identifying the contributing factors and, more importantly, how to resolve any issue you may be dealing with.

Some of the more common contributing factors for shoulder pain and injury include:

Improper technique: Due to the nature of gardening and yard work, the body is often bent over for prolonged periods. These postures often lead to a rounding of the upper back (spine), which causes the shoulder blades to round forward.

Unfortunately, performing the typical activities in this position leaves the shoulder muscles susceptible to impingement. Impingement is one of the most common causes of shoulder pain/injury.

Repetitive motions: Reaching, pulling, digging, and raking are all potential causes of irritation and pain in the shoulder. Using the shoulders repetitively while performing most activities needed in yard work or gardening leave the shoulders vulnerable to overuse-type injuries.

Trauma: Any fall or impact, such as tripping on equipment or landing on an outstretched arm from a sudden slip, can lead to pain and possibly injury in the shoulder.

The first step is to improve the work environment and plan your schedule to avoid these problems. Make sure you use the proper equipment for the job, create raised beds for your garden when possible, or use a potting bench or table to plant flowers. It can also be beneficial to take breaks and/or divide your work up to change your postures and activities from sitting, kneeling, and standing throughout the day.

No matter what the source of your pain is, our Maximum Rehabilitation Services team can help you resolve it and learn how to avoid the common ways we aggravate our shoulders in the first place!

How occupational therapy can help you relieve your shoulder pain

Our occupational therapists are experts in identifying and treating the source of your shoulder pain and injuries. They will conduct a thorough evaluation that includes an analysis of your mobility, technique, equipment, or any other factor contributing to your problem. We will use this information to determine the best treatment for your needs.

Our treatment plans initially focus on relieving your pain and improving/restoring any lost mobility. Next, we will work with you to improve your strength, ergonomics, and body mechanics to ensure proper performance of the activities you will need to work around your home.

Your program may include manual therapy, targeted stretches, exercises, or activity modifications. We can help modify your equipment and give you the skills needed to make necessary adjustments and adaptations to your work day.

Our team of therapists is dedicated to finding solutions that work!

Request an appointment at Maximum Rehabilitation Services today!

At Maximum Rehabilitation Services, our occupational therapist will work with you to understand your goals and expectations to develop your personalized treatment plan. We are dedicated to providing you with the tools you need for recovery and relief!

Contact us today to schedule an appointment.


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