Back problems affect people of all ages and can make gardening a painful experience.

Here at the Isis Chiropractic Centreswe understand back pain and the causes of other pain.

By following some simple rules you can make gardening easier on your back and prevent any future problems.

The first few weeks of spring show the highest prevalence of back pain and other injuries, such as neck, shoulder, elbow, wrist, hip and knee pain among recreational gardeners.

As we move into spring and summer many of us will take to the garden and begin our preparations for this year’s crop.  But before you grab your spade spare a thought for your back!

Back injuries related to gardening can affect anyone but are much more common if:

  • You do not usually participate in physical activity,
  • You fail to take care in the garden, or
  • You have a previous back problem.

If you get pain from gardening, it is likely that you already have an underlying problem that needs attention!

As chiropractic is an effective way to treat back pain and other injuries, why don’t you give us a call and find out how we can help you!

What Can You do to Protect Yourself from Injury?

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 arm’s 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 position. 
  • Use a Lifting Trolley: Use a lifting trolley to move heavy items such pots, sacks of compost. Failing this, use a 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.
Digging and back pain

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

Go 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!

If you are still not getting to grips with your injury, do not delay having treatment!

The longer you leave it the harder it will be to help you!

You can contact Isis Chiropractic Centres here if you have a question.

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