Six Gardening Tips to Keep Your Spine Healthy and Happy this Spring
Tips on Back-friendly Gardening
It’s that time of year again – the weather is getting warmer and people’s thoughts are moving towards their gardens and flower beds. For many this spells a time of back aches, soreness and pain, but it needn’t be that way. If you follow these simple tips below, you can minimize your aches and maximize your gardening enjoyment this spring.
Tip 1: Avoid gardening in prolonged positions.
Many people spend hours hunched over in the same position when gardening, only to find they feel stiff and sore when they do try to change position. Avoid this by changing your position frequently – take breaks to stand up, stretch or take a mini walk to change up your gardening tools or retrieve more seeds / flowers to plant.
Tip 2: Be judicious with the weight you lift and how you lift it
It’s always better to take more trips with a load that is lighter and easier to manage than to take one trip with a heavier amount of weight. When lifting objects that are heavy, you can reduce the strain on your back by employing items such as a child’s wagon or a trolly to minimize the distance you have to carry the weight. And always remember to lift in a way that is friendly for your back (click here to read how best to lift).
Tip 3: Stay well hydrated
It can be tempting to push through and not take breaks while gardening, especially if you don’t know what the weather will do tomorrow. However, ensure that you stop to take breaks to ensure proper hydration – this will help your tissues function better and make them less prone to injury.
Tip 4: Stand whenever possible
Most people garden on their knees with their back in a hunched position – this posture almost 100% guarantees back pain! There are many tools which allow one to do much of their gardening work from a standing position, decreasing the time you spend hunched over on your knees, and decreasing the likelihood you’ll end up with back pain. Or another alternative – try raised level flower beds to decrease the need to bend.
Tip 5: Avoid twisting as much as possible
Twisting is an action that your back isn’t a huge fan of, especially if you are in a twisted position for a prolonged period. Although there may be some areas in the garden you need to twist to reach, avoid twisting as much as possible. Instead try using different tools that let you garden from a different angle. If you do have to twist, make sure that you’re not lifting and twisting, and that you minimize the amount of time twisting.
Tip 6: See your chiropractor
As experts in musculoskeletal health, your chiropractor can help ensure the health of your spine this spring and keep you at your gardening best!
For a complimentary 15 minute consultation, or for more information, contact us here or call 519-265-8035.