If you are an active gardener then you are probably planning several activities as the spring is springing and the sun is out giving you an invitation. You may have a long “to do” list in your gardening journal scheduled for this spring season. But at the same time you need to know that gardening has surprisingly been identified as a major cause of back pain. So if you are not prepared then it is more likely that your increased activities in your own yard could hurt you. It is always better to have certain precautions and take necessary measures in order to protect yourself from back pain problems. Here are some of the tips for you.
Take Time to Warm Up First
Warming up is the most important pre-activity requirement. When someone starts playing sports or beginning workouts, it is sensible always to warm up before. Same is true with gardening also. It is also a physical activity and you must have a quick walk and little gentle stretching of your back, legs, arms and hands before you start working in your garden. Do not start hunkering down to your flower beds without a warm up.
Change Your Positions Frequently
It is important to understand that prolonged static positions could be devastating for your health. While working close to the ground, as you do while weeding, you should sit, kneel, half-kneel, and get on all fours frequently.This frequent changing of your working positions would give your body small breaks and would in turn prevent overuse injuries and provide support to your back.
Opt For Rotational Task Management with Breaks
You should not stick on one activity for longer. It is better if you keep rotating through your day’s tasks. You can do weeding for ten minutes and then switch to raking for another ten minutes, then go for clipping and then come back to weeding. This rotational task management would give your body enough support.
In case you have only one activity to complete then it would be better if you take sufficient stretch breaks and change positions after every ten to fifteen minutes.
Apply Correct Body Mechanics
In any case you should avoid bending in your back. You should be careful when you are lifting something.Keep your back straight. Keep your abdominal muscles tightened. Bend only at your hips and knees.You should never try to lift a load you are not comfortable with at one time. Divide the whole load in to several parts instead.
While digging better use a small spade. You should move your feet only and do not try to move and make unnecessary twists with your back while digging.
Use Ergonomic Gardening Tools
Use of ergonomically designed tools is strongly recommended. Light-weight tools would help you ease out the load at your back. Such tools will facilitate you with your posture. You can work standing instead of bending over. It will save your back from damaging. You can easily search such ergonomically designed gardening tools at several websites.
A good Physical Therapist will definitely help you with right body mechanics and will teach you exercises specifically designed for gardening. So keep safe with your back while gardening this spring. If you have any questions on body mechanics while gardening or any aches or pains you are experiencing, please do not hesitate to contact me.