If you have any aches and pains associated with gardening this Autumn then don’t hesitate to make an appointment.
Have a look at our Video to get some tips on preventing back pain when gardening!
In the Autumn as the leaves begin to fall and plants start to die back our minds turn to the plentiful jobs in the garden that need completing before the Winter sets in.
Whether you are digging, raking up dead fallen leaves, clipping back, wheeling a wheelbarrow or tidying perennials it is important to take your time and look after your back.
We have compiled this information and advice to help you prevent back pain whilst gardening.
General Back Care
Make sure that you dress warmly and warm up by doing some general, light activity before you tackle the heavier and more complex things in the garden. Then when you feel a bit warmer you can gently stretch to gain more flexibility.
Wear a support belt to protect your back. The back support will give you additional protection if your core muscles are not strong enough. Even if they are, the belt will help to protect you back further.
Make it as easy as possible for you by using kneelers, trolleys and a wheelbarrow instead of lifting and carrying heavy objects.
When you lift, make sure that you bend your knees and keep your back straight and, avoid twisting.
Taking regular breaks and make sure that you drink plenty of fluids to keep yourself hydrated.
Check-List To Prevent Back Pain In The Garden
Clothes: Wear warm clothes that will keep you dry but avoid wearing clothes that are tight or could constrict your movement.
Warm Up: Gardening is like any other exercise; you need to warm up first. Don’t go straight into heavy work, consider starting with the lighter jobs and build up to the heavier ones as this will lower the chance of muscle strain.
Clever pruning: Overreaching is often a cause of gardening injuries, as considerable strain is placed on your body when you over reach. Get as close as possible to the things you are pruning and avoid over-stretching to reach the area you are dealing with. Invest in some long handled seccateurs to reach plants and bushes that are beyond normal reach. Use a utility belt to keep your gardening equipment close at hand.
Using the rake: Keep your body in line with the rake and don't over stretch by leaning too far forward or dragging your arms too far behind. Use short, precise movements. When going to pick the leaf litter up, bend both knees and keep your back straight, using a squatting action rather than bending through your back.
Take a break: Remaining in one position or repeating the same action for too long puts your muscles and joints under too much strain. Vary your activity by spending no more than 20-30 minutes on any one thing and make sure you take regular breaks. Perhaps set a timer each time to remind yourself to take a break, it can be very easy to get stuck into these activities and lose track of time. Remember that gardening is a form of exercise for you body so it is also important to drink water and keep yourself well hydrated.
Plan ahead: A specialist garden trolley might be worth investing in to move pots around to protect them from the cold weather as well as being great for carting heavy bags of compost around. Whenever possible break down loads into smaller sizes that are easier to manage rather than overloading yourself. If you have heavy loads to move and cannot break these down, why not ask a friend to help.
If you want to read more about chiropractic and gardening, click here.