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Tips for Preventing Back Strain During Gardening


As the spring thaw inches closer and closer, many people are itching to get outside and get active. You may have even noticed an uptick in gardening supplies and plants at the local store, as regular gardening enthusiasts cannot wait to start digging. But with the calming yet active activity, comes a lot of bending over, twisting, reaching and pulling. Chiropractic patients, especially ones that have been sedentary through the winter, may be at risk of strain due to the fact that your body has not moved this way for some time.

Gardeners may develop muscle strains and sprains in the ligaments and muscles due to their constant and sudden movements. Dr. Scott Bautch of the American Chiropractic Association states that the first thing people should do before grabbing their shovel is stretch. Gardening is a workout after all, so a warm up will loosen the muscles and prepare them for activity. This also means that a cool-down period is necessary as well, in order for your heart rate to get back down to normal. Areas of the body to focus on during these stretches should include the back, upper legs, wrists, and shoulders.

Dr. Bautch states that remembering to stretch is one of the most important – and easiest – ways to prevent any injuries, stiffness or pain. During gardening, Dr. Bautch recommends taking frequent breaks from activity throughout the day. By standing, walking and stretching at different points you will prevent muscle fatigue and promote proper circulation. If any strain does occur, make sure to speak with your physician and chiropractor right away. Hopefully a quick spinal adjustment will get you right back out in those tomatoes plants where you belong.

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Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Jennifer Lynn

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