Spring is the ideal time to dust off your gardening tools and work. During this time, most people tend to their gardens as a hobby to plant healthy and fresh vegetables as they enjoy the season. But as many begin gardening, few plan how to protect their backs while working. To minimize back pain during gardening, follow these tips.
Gardening may seem like a relaxing and sedentary activity. However, it involves a lot of leaning, crouching, standing, lifting, digging, and stretching. It involves many muscles in your body the same way you would if you played tennis or went for a run.
Start with simple movements like marching on the spot, easy raking, or walking. Do some stretches for your fingers, back, hands, legs, shoulders, and neck.
A warm-up can only prepare your body for the task ahead. But to avoid back pain and injury, you should strengthen your core. The core entails the muscles in your midsection that protect and enable your spine to remain stable. You can do exercises involving your abdominal muscles and your obliques.
It is essential to be mindful of how you carry and lift things around while gardening. Whether it is a plant pot, garden waste, or compost, you need to be careful not to injure your back. Most people who experience back pains get it from lifting heavy things. If you carry something weighty like a bag full of garden waste, try to lift it halfway as you make multiple trips instead of putting so much strain on your back.
It is also ideal to think about how you will bend over while performing your tasks. Lift objects when squatting with your back straight and legs bent at your knees. Put less leverage on your back when carrying heavier objects by pressing them against your body and lowering down.
You can also kneel instead of bending over or crouching down. Doing so will prevent forcing your spine to stay in a position that is not natural.
There are various tools for gardening that can take the strain off your body. For example, instead of carrying heavy things around, use a wheelbarrow to avoid hurting yourself or causing a mess.
You can take the strain off your back by using tools with long handles for trimming and picking up waste. Avoid the need to bend over or stretch repeatedly. Garden kneelers can also help you get down or up whenever you want to. Some can convert into stools to eliminate your need to bend down or crouch while gardening.
It is crucial to take breaks regularly when gardening to minimize back pain. You can get immersed and carried away by your task that you forget to take some time off to ease your back muscles. Take a break for half an hour, then resume your work. During recess, you can drink a cup of tea, stretch, or take a walk for a few minutes.
After completing the tasks you had for the day, take around 10 minutes to stretch your legs, back, shoulder, arms, and neck muscles. Doing so after the strenuous job helps your muscles recover and repair.
For more about minimizing back pain, call Petito-Ross Chiropractic Center at (609) 581-1300 to reach our office in Hamilton, New Jersey.