Back Pain and Gardening
By Sara Butler
Summer can seem like an endless fight between you and the weeds in your garden. That fight can soon turn into a struggle between you and back pain from yard work. It can be tempting when you look outside just to feel as if you want to go out and tackle it all at once. That may ensure a nice garden but it won’t ensure a back free from stiffness and pain or a body free from joint dysfunction or restriction. You look to the chiropractors at The Joint for a lot of advice when it comes to your health – you probably never thought to ask them for gardening advice. But here is it – how you can keep your garden and your back thriving all summer long!
Don’t carry the weight of the world on your shoulders – or your back. Your back is incredible in the ways it moves and the jobs it performs, but it can’t do it all. You need to break up your gardening work into chunks of 30 minutes or less in order to avoid back pain. Going on marathon gardening sessions every weekend will have you feeling sore and stiff when Monday rolls around.
Change It Up
It will pay to vary your tasks in the garden when you are working. Work bent over for a few minutes at a time, then move to digging, squatting, bending or pulling in order to keep you out of a poor gardening posture for too long that can result in pulled muscles or worse!
Sometimes your back just can’t take all the work you want to be done on the lawn, so hire one of those energetic neighborhood kids to do it for you. They’ll happily do some heavy lifting for minimum wage! Seriously though, be honest with your limits. If what you want accomplished is out of the realm of physical possibility for you, then hire someone to do it or get someone you know to help.
When You’re Done
When you’re done, it can be tempting to flop down on the couch in the air conditioning and rest, but that’s the last thing you should do! You can avoid back pain and stiffness by making sure to do a cool down. Yard work is exercise, and just as with any exercise, you need to have a cooling off period in which you cool the muscles down. So go for a short walk and do a little stretching. You’ll feel better in the morning if you do!
If you have questions or concerns about back pain and gardening, discuss them with the chiropractors at The Joint!
To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Columbia, S.C.