Back-Saving Tips For Gardeners

If your job involves heavy lifting, you have to be extra careful of your back's health. Click here for more information.

Back-Saving Tips For Gardeners

27 February 2016
 Categories: , Blog

Spring is nearly here and it's time to be heading out into the garden. While gardening can be a source of pleasure and relaxation, it can also lead to injuries and pain. The following tips can help you avoid strain and backaches when you are gardening this year.

Tip #1: Do Your Stretches

Gardening may not seem like exercise, but the repetitive bending, pulling, and digging motions can play havoc on your muscles. Take a few minutes to stretch before heading outside. Some gentle stretches for your back, shoulders, and legs are best. Begin by stretching your arms overhead, and then slowly bend over and reach toward your toes. Next, swing your arms gently to the front until they touch, and then backward as far as they will go. Finally, step forward with one leg bending at the knee, extending the other leg behind. Repeat each of these stretches a few times until you are limbered up.

Tip #2: Get a Kneeling Pad

The quickest way to create a hurting back is to bend over constantly. Invest in a garden kneeler and use it. If carting around a kneeling pad seems like too much work, knee guards are also available for gardeners – simply strap them on when you head outside. When kneeling and working, keep your back as straight as possible. Avoid rounding your shoulders or hunching over.

Tip #3: Use Your Legs

Don't try to lift or pull with your back. Instead, keep your back straight and bend at the knee to reach whatever you need to lift or pull up. Then, lift carefully, keeping the back straight. When possible, use a garden cart or wheelbarrow to move heavy things instead of trying to lug them across the yard with a bucket or in your hands.

Tip #4: Stop Occasionally

If you are feeling tired, don't try to push through. Take a 10 minute break and drink some cool water so you stay hydrated. It's also a good idea to vary your tasks occasionally so that you don't overwork a single muscle group. If you've been pulling weeds for the last hour, take a 10 minute break and then move on to raking for a short period of time. Sometimes you may need to stop completely. If you feel any pain, especially in your back or neck, call it quits for the day so you don't develop a major injury. If the pain doesn't fade after a warm shower and a good night's rest, call your chiropractor or University Physical Medicine for an assessment.

About Me
Understanding Better Back Habits

After lifting incorrectly for years, I could tell that it was really taking a toll on my back health. I couldn't sit straight up in bed without wincing in agony, and I decided that it might be in my best interest to talk with a chiropractor. I started meeting with a back doctor once or twice a month, and it really made a difference. My chiropractor helped to make adjustments that improved my back pain, and he also addressed different back health habits that might help things. After a few weeks, I could tell that things were getting better. Read this blog about ways that chiropractors can help you.