Avoiding back pain in the garden

As spring is fast approaching many of us will be starting to think about the garden. As a nation, we love our gardens and spend a considerable amount of time and money on them. As we rush to get those jobs in the garden done there is a risk that gardeners may injure themselves. What everyone wants is to be fit and healthy enough to actually enjoy sitting in their garden and enjoy the fruits of their labour.

Here are some helpful tips from our chiropractors and information taken from the British Chiropractic Association to help avoid back pain in the garden.

1) Dress appropriately. Don’t wear clothes that are tight or restrict your movement.

2) Gardening is like any other exercise; you need to warm up first. Don’t go straight in to heavy garden work, start off with lighter jobs first. This will lessen the chance of muscle strain.

3) Don’t twist again. If you are using a ladder for any of your gardening tasks, rather than leaning or reaching, move the ladder regularly. When using a ladder always keep your shoulders, hips and knees pointing in the same direction. Make sure the ladder is firmly and safely planted in position and, if possible, have someone else standing there to keep an eye on things.

4) Clever pruning. Get as close as possible to things you are pruning; avoid over stretching to reach the area you are dealing with. Invest in some long handled shears to get to plants and bushes that are beyond normal reach.

5) Take a break. Vary your activity; spend no more than 30 minutes on any one thing and take regular breaks.

6) Be clever with paving If laying a patio keep the slab close to your body and bend your knees. It is sometimes better to bend one knee rather than two, as your supporting leg gives you position of strength.