Gardening – 4 easy stretches to prevent back pain

How to prevent gardening back painThe recent fine weather has all gardening enthusiasts out and about getting their hands dirty.

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.

Gardening - 4 easy stretches to prevent back painFinally 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
Lift correctly
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.

Don’t wait any longer! Call our office on 021 487 8465 or email drben@optimalchiro.ie to request an appointment and we will have you pain free in no time.

If you are interested in further reading on this topic, here is another article I’ve written on gardening and avoiding injury

Ben

About the author

Dr. Benjamin Martin is a Chiropractor and speaker on Health and Wellbeing. Ben is regularly called on to discuss health topics and chiropractic on radio, tv and press. His promise is to adjust and educate as many families as possible towards optimal health. His work changes lives and has restored people's quality of life.

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