This time of year our day is filled with patients with back pain from gardening and lawn activities. Where summer is slow to arrive, this is the season for gardening. It’s also the season for back pain. If you’ve been sitting on the couch all winter long, waiting for the weather to warm up, now isn’t the time to start doing 12 hours of manual labour a day.
We are all tempted, when we look outside, just to get the garden done. If this is you, you are at risk of overdoing it! To avoid back pain from gardening, I recommend several simple tips.
1) Break your job out into 30 minute chunks. Then take a break. A 5 hour marathon weekend session is going to hurt.
2) Get some help with your gardening! Pocket money is a great way of getting local teenagers making money and helping people. Your back will thank you for the two weeks of pain you saved it - unlike the last time you did a marathon session.
3) Vary your tasks; two hours bent over at the waist pulling tall weeds is predictably going to be a problem. Change it up. Do some squatting, digging, bending, pulling so that you vary your tasks. Look out for a video we will post soon called the hip hinge: this is a back sparing posture for gardening.
4) When you finish, don’t flop on to the couch in a heap of exhaustion. Take the dog on a short walk. It will help you activate your muscles again and loosen up.
If you follow these tips and remember to stretch afterwards, you will avoid a lot of gardening back pain that is common in the spring. I always end with this: if you hurt, call Bowdon Downs Clinic. We can help you.
If you are experiencing other ailments like mechanical low back, and neck pain neck, sciatica shoulder or any joint pains you may benefit from seeing a Chiropractor.