How To Rake Leaves Without Back Pain!

Hey everyone! In this article, we are going to be talking about 3 tips for healthy raking! Have you ever went outside for your fall cleanup and you raked and then you’re back was killing you for days after that?

Or are you someone who has back pain and you’re worried that if I go outside and do that fall cleanup, that my back is going to be killing me?

For more of my visual and auditory learning folks check out this video that shows what I am talking about!



3 Tips For Healthy Raking:


1. Take care of your hands first!


This tip doesn’t actually relate to the back, but it’s about the hands.  Gloves are very important! Make sure you’re wearing gloves to prevent blisters.


The other thing.. Nice little handy thing I do in my rake is I made it a little ergonomic so I could get a better grip.  Initially, it was very skinny. So actually put some duct tape around it helped with my grip to help with the hands so I don’t get any kind of hand pain, a tendinitis in my wrists and hands.


2. Don’t bend from your spine!



Most of you will bend forward when you are raking.  This crouched forward position puts a lot of stress and pressure to the discs in your lower back especially if you get back pain with sitting for long periods of time at work.


One way to decrease that stress to your back is to actually have your back straight and pivot using your hips.  By driving from your hips you are actually using your glutes.  So you’re turning your fall clean up into an exercise so you are actually getting strengthening benefits of a workout all at the same time of knocking off one of the honey dew list items 🙂


Pivoting from your hips is going to help decrease stress to your spine by using your bigger hip muscles.


3.  Switch directions!



Most people will only rake in one direction because that is what we are used to and it is comfortable for us.  The downside of this is you are doing repetitive motion over and over again. That’s how most injuries occur is by doing something too much over and over again.  One way to combat this is for as many times as you go one direction, you need to pivot your feet and switch sides and start raking in the other direction.

This is just going to normalize some of the balance to the muscles in your body and will help decrease the chance that you’re going to be having back pain for days to come after your fall cleanup.




Want to know what you should do before you go outside AND after you are done raking?  You want to stretch your spine into the opposite direction.  Check out this one stretch that has been helpful for many of the clients I have helped over the years who struggle with back pain when they sit, bend, and lift things up from the floor.  I hope it helps you!



If any of these tips were helpful for you, I appreciate you copy and share the link in your browser and share it with a friend!

If you know they have back pain or if they’re going be going out then this can help them!  Think of your husband who is going to be going outside this weekend so he can stay healthy (and this will also prevent him from complaining that his back hurts for the rest of the week)


Have you seen other medical providers in the past that just tell you to stop your activity?


We have a unique treatment approach that focuses on solving these problems with our clients. We combine manual hands-on techniques with guided supervised exercises to help you get stronger, pain-free and perform at your peak level to get you back on in the gym or on the road doing what you love. Our goal is to help keep you active, while recovering from injury by guiding you in ways to modify your training, rather than eliminating training!



The SPARK Physical Therapy Commitment



No long waits or multiple trips to providers’ offices every week. We see you either onsite at a partnering gym or in the comfort of your home when it is convenient with your schedule.

One on one for a full hour with your doctor of physical therapy, every visit. We provide you with a customized plan specifically designed for you, based off your unique injury and goals.

Full transparency in what you pay. You will never get a bill from us a couple of months after your visit.

Access and availability to you! Have a question about your pain or exercise program? Get an answer from your therapist directly.



If you’re in the greater Hamden, CT area and are an active adult that has been dealing with back pain we can help. We’d love to chat for a few minutes and see if you are a good fit for what we do. Fill in this CONTACT REQUEST LINK  and we’ll set up a free-minute phone consultation with a doctor of physical therapy


I have a great day getting outside being active getting that fall cleanup in and a little exercise!

Thank you for taking the time to read and watch the video,


– Duane Scotti, PT, DPT, PhD, OCS

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How To Rake Leaves Without Back Pain!

Hey everyone! In this article, we are going to be talking about 3 tips for healthy raking! Have you ever went outside for your fall cleanup and you raked and then you’re back was killing you for days after that? Or are you someone who has back pain and you’re worried that if I go… View ArticleRead More

“I went to see Duane early into my marathon training with hamstring pain. At that time, I was barely able to run 3 miles and was in pain. After a thorough exam and analysis of my running, he was able to diagnose and start treatment that day. Duane provided me with exercises to strengthen my hamstring and surrounding running muscles, all while slowly building my mileage back up. He was honest with me about setting realistic goals for my race and helped me to meet those goals. With his help, I was able to run the New York City Marathon.”

Jolene G. (Runner)

“I first went to Duane prior to training for my first full marathon because I had some aches and pains from running that I wanted to sort out. Duane was able to diagnose the problems immediately and I went home pain free. The exercises he prescribed were personalized to my needs and within a few weeks, I felt stronger and pain free while running so I could get to healthy training! It’s great to have a physical therapist who understands athletes and encourages people to continue to stay active. I highly recommend Duane to any person who is looking to stay healthy while maintaining an active lifestyle!”

Katie R. (Runner)

SPARK Physical Therapy was instrumental in my recovery of from achilles tendinitis. I visited a podiatrist who said I would need surgery to shave down a bone spur and Haglund’s Deformity. The recovery would be at least 8 weeks and at the time I was 24 weeks from running the NYC Marathon. Duane evaluated me and said I needed to work on my calf muscle and flexibility. We started treatment with dry needling and specific exercises that I could do on my own. The pain subsided and even after some long runs everything was starting to feel better. I will tell you that I ran and finished the NYC Marathon without pain or issues from my achilles. Had I not met Duane about a week after my podiatrist appointment I would have needed to defer my marathon and probably would still be recovering from the surgery. I was able to run through my injury safely and achieve my goal. The refreshing thing about SPARK Physical Therapy is they do not push for ton of session. I met my running goals in 10 sessions spread out over 3-4 months. Big Thank you to Duane and I highly recommend seeing him for any running injury you may have!


Louis G.(Runner)

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