How to tackle yard work without aches and pains

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It might be time to tackle the yard work. After all, some say May is for mulching. But how can you get your curb appeal looking fab without suffering the aches and pains the next day?

Before you head out in the yard, here's some important advice from the doc.

Dr. Santhosh Thomas of the Cleveland Clinic says be aware of  what you shouldn’t do.

"If you twist and lift that's going to be problematic for most people. If you're in good shape it may be less problematic, but twisting would be one of the things, along with lifting while you're twisting," he says.

Dr. Thomas says you need strong core muscles, strong back muscles as well as strong arm and leg muscles before tackling any big jobs. If you must lift, try to lift with your legs and not with your back.

If you do need to use your back, make sure that your back is straight and not curved. Stretching before and after landscaping can also help prevent and alleviate pain.

Another way to avoid injury is to divide your work up into segments and not try to tackle it all at once.
Sprains, strains and overuse injuries are common ailments that bring people to the doctor's office following a weekend of yard work.

Dr. Thomas says that with proper rest, most of these types of injuries will resolve within a couple of days.

He says it's important to stay conditioned and know your limits, as often times, you won't even feel the pain until the next day, when it's too late.

"Most of the time your body's producing adrenaline and you're excited to do your thing - you want to get it done. You'll suck it up and just do it, and then you'll say, 'I shouldn't have done it,'" he says.

The doctor says if you take an over-the-counter pain reliever and symptoms don't go away after a few days, you might want to see a doc. (And, hire out some of that yard work next time.)