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A Green Thumb and a Happy Back

By Krista Elliott

One of the greatest joys in the warmer weather is getting out and getting into the flower garden. Gardening is a great combination of instant rewards (like when you've finally cleared an area of weeds) and delayed gratification (when your seedlings turn into thick, beautiful, healthy plants). Plus, gardening is a safe and relaxing hobby that can be done at virtually any age. 

While the idea of a gardening injury may seem unlikely, as it's not exactly an extreme sport, it's not without risk either. Muscle strains and sprains, subluxations or misalignments of the spine, and even more serious injuries are all possible if proper precautions are not taken. 

So how to keep your green thumb injury-free?

Pace Yourself

I get it — free time is rare and precious, and it is all-too-tempting to try to get as much done as possible on a Sunday afternoon. But we've all made the mistake of spending hours hunched over in the garden, lifting and lugging and bending, only to be in agony for days afterward. Instead of being a weekend warrior, try to parcel out your time a bit more gradually. Even 10 minutes after supper can make a big difference in your garden, and you won't have as much to tackle on the weekend. 

Have a Seat (or a Kneel)

Hunching, bending, and reaching while weeding or planting your flower beds can do a real number on your back. These motions put you at a heightened risk for misalignment of the joints, muscle sprains, or other injuries. A gardening seat or a heavily cushioned kneeling pad helps keep your back in a healthier position. Just make sure you move your bench or pad when moving on to another section, instead of straining to reach the next weed. 

Get Preventative Treatment

If you already have misalignments in the spine, you're at an increased risk for painful injuries when gardening. An assessment and treatment by chiropractic professionals at The Joint Chiropractic act as a pre-check for your joints, helping ensure that everything is in proper working order before you put it to the test. 

Take Breaks

It's summer! So relax and take it easy. Frequent breaks while gardening -- to have a cold drink of tea or lemonade, some gentle stretching, and a stroll around the property -- are good for the body and mind. You'll be protecting your joints and muscles as well as giving yourself the opportunity to assess and appreciate how great your garden looks!

You pamper your plants in order for them to be strong and healthy, so give your back and joints a bit of pampering too, and enjoy your beautiful garden, pain-free! 

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