All keen gardeners know that preparation is essential for good results. The same is true for chiropractic and spinal care.
Watch our video to see how you can prevent pain in the garden!
Taking care of your back begins before you start hands on work in the garden.
Warm Up Before Gardening: Do some warm up exercises to get your muscles ready for the task ahead. Holding both your hands above your head repetitively stretching up to the sky one hand at a time simulating a ladder climb. This will stretch the muscles around your core that are primarily used whilst digging. Rolling the shoulders forward and backwards and large circular movements of the arms will prepare the upper body.
Digging: Over-enthusiastic digging by
out of condition gardeners accounts for a high proportion of those with
back pain. Keeping your back straight and dividing your digging areas
into sensible chunks will prevent overdoing it in the first few days.
By keeping your back straight and contracting your stomach muscles you
will form a muscular support around the spine reducing the strain on the
ligaments and joints of the low back. Remember if your back ‘goes out’
on day one you could be spending valuable sunny days recovering rather
than enjoying your garden.
Mowing The Lawn: Most
of us love to look at it but few enjoy cutting it. Beware when using
hover mowers, never attempt to move them sideways by swinging from the
waist with the mower at arms length. Working in this way puts excessive
strain on the low back and may result in otherwise avoidable pain. Mow
a little at a time in straight lines keeping as upright as possible.
Use a Kneeler Seat: The
use of a ‘kneeler seat’ with handles will provide padding for your
knees and that much needed support when returning to a standing
Use a Lifting Trolley: Use
a lifting trolley to move heavy items such pots, sacks of compost.
Failing this, use wheelbarrow and lift from a squatting position using
your legs/knees, not by bending over.
Lighten the Load: Decanting material into lighter loads is also a sensible back-protection technique. Buy heavy items (cement, compost etc) in smaller bags to reduce your carrying load.
Design your Garden with your Back in mind
Raised beds, low maintenance planting, the purchase of lifting hand trolleys and light-weight, long-handled tools will all help. If
you are lucky enough to have a potting shed or greenhouse, make sure
that work-benches are the correct height to avoid stooping.
Planting for Protection
for ground-covering plants to reduce weeding; use bark to stifle weeds;
enjoy tubs and container gardening for annuals, to avoid too much
bending, digging and planting up in your borders.
Just remember, too much bending equals back pain!
you are still not getting to grips with your injury, do not delay having
The longer you leave it the harder it will be to help you!