It’s a busy time for gardeners this month as the growing season really kicks off.
Most households have taken to gardening now more than ever for a number of reasons.
Lockdowns have created more time for people at home and gardening has taken off.
Working in the garden is good for reducing stress levels and improving physical fitness.
But whether you are beginner or a seasoned pro we all need reminding on how to stay pain free and injury free.
Here are the top 8 ways to reduce low back pain, strain or injury.
Pain Free gardening;
Gardening and yard work is physical and with any physical work it is important to warm up before you start.
For dynamic stretching warm up your body first for 5 to 10mins by walking around your garden – while assessing what work needs to be done.
Your body needs to be warm before you do your stretches.
Try these 3 simple stretches:
Head up high and pull your tummy in.
Breathe in and stretch your arms up high like a tree. Breathe in as you bend forward to touch the earth.
Breathe out as you come back up.
Start this exercise standing up tall with your hands by your side. Breathe in.
Breathe out and stretch your left hand over your head as you reach your right hand down by your right leg.
Come back up, Breathe in again and repeat on the other side. Repeat 3 times each side.
Stand with your legs hip width apart with knees slightly bent – breathe in then breathe out as you swing your arms around to the left.
Breathe in and come back to centre.
Breathe out and swing to the other side.
Repeat 5 times.
2. Bending and Lifting
Don’t try to lift anything you can’t tilt.
Roll it if you can.
Don’t do it on your own – get help. When heavy lifting can’t be avoided – bend your knees and use your legs, not your back.
3. Good Footwear
It’s important to be comfortable while you’re gardening and good footwear will provide good support as you move around that will benefit your spine.
4. Invest in Good Tools
The right equipment reduces strain on your body as well as making the work easier. Use long handled tools to reduce the amount of bending, reaching or stretching.
5. Take Breaks
Don’t try to do it all on the same day. Take regular breaks to reduce strain on your body
Keep a flask or bottle of water near you to stay hydrated.
7. Vary Your Activities
Adjust your body position regularly. Keep gardening tools close to avoid overreaching. Repetitive activities can easily lead to injury. Change from a kneeling weeding job to a standing raking motion for example.
8. Warm Down
Simple back exercises can help counter the strain and keep your pain- free. Have a good stretch to loosen out the muscles after working.
Finally, enjoy your time in the garden, it’s good for your mind, body and soul.
If you have recurring back pain and would like our help click here for a free 15min assessment and postural analysis.
We’ll get you back to pain free gardening.