Summer Gardening Tips to Prevent Back Injury

Although it can be a bit warm, summertime is one of the best seasons for green thumbs. Flowers like pink daisies and moonbeams thrive in the warmth of the summer sun. Some of your favorite vegetables also prefer the summer months, including varieties of squash, cucumbers, corn, and peppers. But how can you maximize your summer gardening experience without also maximizing back pain? Here we have compiled a few tips to help keep your back (and garden) healthy!

Use Your Legs

If you have heard it once, you have heard it a thousand times: lift with your legs, not with your back. But the reason we are all familiar with this phrase is because it is incredibly true. When gardening, try doing a little warm up stretching and movement prior to digging in (literally). This will get the spine in motion and loosen up supporting muscles. Then, when you have to bend down to plant, dig, weed, et cetera, use your legs to bear the burden of the weight and bend at the knees instead of at the waist.

Buy the Right Tools

Having the right tools handy can be the difference between a healthy back and a sore one. Using tools with long handles helps you maintain better posture and avoid bending at the waist, which can put strain on the back muscles and spine. Also, the right tools for the job will help you avoid over exerting yourself – something that is very important in the heat of the sun.

Be Intuitive

This tip is important, because it applies to everything you do in the garden. Listening to your body is key to preventing injury – of the back and neck, but also of other joints like shoulders and knees. If your body is telling you to drink, by all means, do it. Staying hydrated is a must for the summer gardener. If you are starting to feel soreness and tenderness in the low back, take a break until it goes away, then remember to use tip number one. Summer gardening can be fun and bountiful, as long as you keep in mind the needs of your body.

 

*Disclaimer: Always consult your physician or other health care professional before seeking treatment or taking related advice herein.*

Story Credit: Local chiropractor: gardening needn't be a pain in your back By Dr. Kenneth Stopa