Tips for Pain Free Gardening
While mother nature takes her time deciding what season it is, let’s take this opportunity to solidify some gardening strategies to keep you pain free this spring and summer!
- Warm Up
Before you start pulling weeds, pushing a lawn mower, or raking leaves, you must warm up! Go for a brisk 10-minute walk around the block. Be sure to swing your arms and get your legs moving.
Following your warm up be sure to get a few stretches in. It’s also important to take breaks to stretch throughout your gardening. After you’ve warmed up, try some arm swings, leg swings, walking lunges, and squats to prepare your shoulders, back and hips for all the work they’re about to do. Here are some stretches for your arms, legs, hips, and back that you can try as you take breaks.
- Lift Right
In order to lift safely and keep your back healthy, position yourself close to the object you’re about to lift. Be sure to keep your back neutral, hinge forward from your hips and engage your core. Lift slowly and smoothly, keeping the load close to your body.
- Stay Hydrated
The discs in your spine, located between each vertebra, require water in order to maintain their height and proper function. As such, it’s extremely important that you stay hydrated while gardening!
- Take Breaks
Finally, it’s important to take breaks! As your muscles fatigue, your form begins to fade and you’re more likely to become injured. Make use of your breaks to grab a drink and stretch out.
Enjoy this gardening season by maintaining a healthy and pain free back! If you have any further questions please don’t hesitate to send them my way!
Dr. Julia Callaghan, BSc (Hons), Chiropractor, ART®,
CSCS, Contemporary Medical Acupuncture
Canadian Chiropractic Association, (2013). Plant and Rake Without the Ache. www.chiropracticcanada.ca