Chiropractors Suggest Stretches Before Spring Gardening


 If you have gardeners in the family, you know they just glow a little as spring gardening gets underway. There’s a lot of talk about tulip or iris bulbs, and before you know it, if you are looking for them they are probably in the garden.

As people age, gardening can still work if they take the time to do warm up and cool down stretches too.

I have an eighty year old neighbor who supplies the whole street with fresh tomatoes and peppers every year. My mother was a gardener too. She grew flowers everywhere, by the drive, around the patio, layered down the hillside. I think the garden helped to keep her and my father young.

Gardening actually is a workout and as family members age, they need to prep for the reaching, pulling and kneeling.

How Stretches Can Help

The American Chiropractor Association says stretches, before and after gardening, may reduce aches and pains in the back, upper legs, shoulders and wrists.

ACA Garden Fitness Stretches

Before gardening, breathe in and out slowly and stretch as far as you comfortably can. NEVER keep going if there is pain.

1.Sit, put your heel on a stool, keep knees straight. Lean forward, until you feel a stretch in the back of the thigh, or the hamstring muscle. Hold for 15 seconds. Repeat with other leg.

2.Stand up, get your balance, grab the front of your ankle from behind. Pull your heel towards your bottom and hold for 15 seconds. Repeat with other leg.

3.While standing, weave your fingers together above your head, palms up. Lean to one side for 10 seconds, then to the other. Repeat three times.

4.Wrap your arms around yourself and lean side to side, stretching as far as you can comfortably go. Hold for 10 seconds. Do two or three times.

In the garden, always kneel instead of bend, and work from one side, then the other, to keep the body balanced. In the enthusiasm to get out there, stretch time may get shortened. If there is pain later your chiropractor may be able to help.

Seeing the chiropractor

The first visit will include a spinal adjustment to evaluate spinal health, followed by questions about current pain, a complete medical history and discussion about current activities like the gardening.

The chiropractor’s goal is to not use medication or surgery.

For sore muscles after gardening, the chiropractor may suggest applying a cold pack on painful areas for 48 hours, or a heat pack after 48 hours.

After the initial visit, the chiropractor will have formed an overall assessment and can be available as the gardener moves through the season.

If this sounds like a plan make appointments with the chiropractor for all of the gardeners in your house and keep doing the pre/post gardening stretches.


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Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Sterling College