Yet, many months of inactivity can result in back strains and sore muscles. Tasks like pulling weeds, mowing the lawn, and stretching or twisting to trim those hard to reach places can cause significant pain.
To make gardening as fun as possible there are some simple stretches you can do to avoid injury and help ease muscle pain after a long day in the garden.
Before stretching for any activity, breathe in and out slowly and stretch as far and as comfortably as you can. Do not follow the no pain, no gain rule. Stretching should not be painful.
1. While sitting, rest your heel on a step, keep your knees straight and bend forward until you feel a stretch in the back of the thigh, or hamstring muscle. Hold this position for 15 seconds. Do this once more and repeat with the other leg.
2. Stand up, balance yourself, and grab the front of your ankle from behind. Pull your heel towards your buttocks and hold the position for 15 seconds. Do this again and repeat with the other leg.
3. While standing, weave your fingers together above your head with the palms up. Lean to one side for 10 seconds, then to the other. Repeat this stretch three times.
4. Wrap your arms around yourself and rotate to one side, stretching as far as you can comfortably go. Hold for 10 seconds and reverse. Repeat two or three times.
Finally this is a handy check list to remember before you start work in the garden;
Check List for a Healthy Back;
Have the right tools for the task at hand
Ensure you drink plenty of water
Alternative between light and heavy tasks
Take frequent breaks
Heavy loads should be shared
Your feet should be protected with thick-soled supportive shoes
Before you start, warm up your muscles
Avoid muscle strain, learn the right techniques
Change positions frequently
Kneel to plant and weed
Spinal check ups can keep your back healthy
If you find that you are still feeling sore or stiff, it is time to consider Chiropractic care.
Often times, it doesn’t matter how much you warm up and stretch; if there is an underlying spinal problem, you will eventually feel the effects of it, which means it has already done some damage to your health.
If you are interested in further reading on this topic, here is another article I’ve written on gardening and avoiding injury