Preparing for the Fall

Yard and house work can be great for a little mental stimulation and exercise, but if you ignore your body and use bad habits, you could end up hurt. We promise not to make you break out the school safety uniform or tell you the only option is to hire a professional (although it’s not a bad idea!), but there are some simple steps you can follow to keep you out of our walk-in clinic unnecessarily.

Looking forward to reaching new heights this fall?

Falling off a ladder can cause you broken bones, back pain, and even a visit to the concussion specialist here at TOC.  So as the fall season gets underway and you begin to think about cleaning out gutters, trimming tall tree branches, or clearing out all those leaves from the rooftop, make sure you take a minute to think through these quick and easy ladder tips:

  • Wear clean, slip-resistant shoes; shoelaces tied! We know it’s Florida, but for this task leave the flip flops inside!
  • Face the ladder while climbing and keep your body between the rails. Leaning too far to one side can cause you to lose your balance and fall.
  • Use the buddy system! Never climb a ladder without someone nearby to help.
  • Never stand on the top rung. The highest “step” on a ladder is always the second from the top.
  • Keep a 3-point contact on the ladder.
  • If you’re prone to dizziness or fainting spells, the ladder may not be the place for you. And remember, alcohol and certain medications can make you feel woozy as well – so pay attention to anything you’re on before climbing.

For those of us that prefer to stay on the ground…

Working on the lawn or in the garden can be a great way to get some exercise without setting foot in a gym, and not everything has to be accomplished by climbing. When you’re working on ground level make sure to take note of your posture. We tend to use our backs more than we should (especially when shoveling, mowing the lawn, or raking), which can cause muscle strains or other injuries.  Just because you’re right handed doesn’t mean you always have to pull the rake with your right side – switch sides and arms every once in a while to even yourself out.  Working too hard on one side can cause early fatigue, and we tend to get sloppy with our form when we’re tired. 

But either way…

Give yourself a break! Not everything has to be accomplished in one day, and doing a little here, little there, may be a better option for your body. And when you’re done with all your work and cleaning up your mess, don’t forget to use proper lifting form! Use your legs, bend your knees, and keep your back straight. Never bend at your waist when lifting!

About the Tallahassee Orthopedic Clinic and its Foundation

For over 35 years, TOC has provided the highest quality orthopedic and sports medicine care in North Florida and South Georgia.  TOC staff include 22 physicians with more than 200 employees, including PA’s, ARNP’s, RN’s, Certified Athletic Trainers, Certified Orthotics and an extensive support team of medical and technical assistants.  TOC provides a comprehensive Sports Medicine Program, a Regional Concussion Center, MRI services, an Orthotics and Prosthetics Division, Physical Therapy and an Outpatient Surgery Center.