Now that spring is here and the weather is finally cooperating, it opens up a world of opportunities for outdoor activities. A favourite activity for many is gardening. Whether it’s planting vegetables or beautiful flower beds, cleaning up the yard or mowing the lawn, it’s nice to be busy outside and have something to show for it when you’re done. It is important to plan ahead to avoid back pain while gardening… read on to learn more!
Gardening often involves bending, lifting, and crouching. Combine that with a sedentary lifestyle over the winter for most people, and the result often can be back pain. This pain can range from general muscle stiffness to sharp stabbing pain, and if lasting more than a few days, it’s always a good idea to get it checked out by a health professional.
To avoid back pain while gardening, here are 5 tips
- Use the right tools & accessories
- This can include a long-handled shovel to avoid bending over, a knee-pad for support, or a wheel-barrow for more efficient loading.
- If the job requires more than one person, make sure you have someone to help you out!
- This is an easy way to avoid injury
- Prepare your body
- Warm up before starting the gardening activities. This could include a simple walk and whole-body stretches
- Drink plenty of water before and during gardening
- Alternate jobs / positions frequently
- If there are heavy and light duties to be done, alternate between the two to give your body a break. If you cannot alternate duties, take a break! Bonus points for completing some stretching during that break.
- When there is a repetitive task at hand, make sure you change positions. This can be as simple and widening your squat, lunging one foot forward, or switching hands.
- Lift properly
- Always avoid movements that combine lifting and rotating the spine simultaneously. Break the task down by lifting first, then rotating your whole body afterward.
- If you are lifting (whether it’s heavy or light), slightly brace your core muscles and use your legs, hinging from the hips rather than arching the back forward.
- Get your spine checked & aligned
- Before starting a big gardening task, seeing a chiropractor to ensure your spine is aligned and you have adequate joint movement can help prevent any injuries from occurring.
- If you find you are sore after gardening, a chiropractic check-up can help your body recover faster.
Happy gardening and if you are a looking for a spinal check and/or alignment, come see me! You can book in at http://www.kinnectbradford.ca/chiropractic/.