With the arrival of spring comes longer days and the arrival of beautiful blossoms that colour our homes and yards. Dr. Stephanie Louie explains that this is also the time when we start to see a lot of gardening related injuries at Mind Body Spine. Aching muscles, sore backs, and tight backs and shoulders are not uncommon symptoms when it comes to working out in the garden. So here are 5 tips to keep your back healthy and avoid injuries while gardening.
Do a light warm up before starting to garden so the body can start to loosen up. Try to warm up by doing movements that you would typically do while gardening.
Use Both Sides of the Body
In order to remain in balance, make sure to use both sides of the body. For example, if you are always raking on the right side of your body, switch to raking on your left. This will help minimize one side of the body being overworked.
Carry loads close to the body
Stand tall when moving loads and try to divide the size of the loads into medium or small sizes to make carrying the loads easier on the body.
Kneel on one knee
Bending over can compromise the back and put too much pressure on your discs. Put kneepads on and switch between kneeling on the right leg and left leg while maintaining a lumbar lordotic curve when working on the ground.
Minimize Overhead Work
Working with your arms above your head for prolonged periods is strenuous on the body, especially the neck, shoulders and upper back. Take multiple breaks during overhead activity in order to allow the muscles to rest.
When you are all done in the garden, don’t forget to stretch, wobble and do your spinal specific exercises like spine molding that is recommended by your chiropractor. Gardening can be exceptionally rewarding, but it also can be very hard on the body. Try following these guidelines for a healthier back during gardening season.
DISCLAIMER: The suggestions and advice provided by Dr. Louie should not be relied upon in place of a chiropractor professional assessment.
For a chiropractor professional assessment, please contact Dr. Stephanie Louie.