How To Enjoy Your Garden Without Hurting Your Back

Gardening without hurting your back

How To Enjoy Your Garden Without Hurting Your Back

7 Tips To Help You Garden Without Hurting Your Back 

As the weather improves it’s great to get back out into the garden, but after the long cold winter it can be tempting to do too much too soon. This can often lead to muscle strains and back pain, particularly if you haven’t been that active throughout the winter. So I thought it would be helpful to jot down a few tips on how to get back out into the garden and enjoy the sunshine whilst avoiding putting too much of a strain on your body and avoid any unnecessary trips to the osteopath!

1. Warm up. Gardening can be strenuous and as with any exercise you need to warm up the joints and muscles properly before you start. Don't perform the most difficult activity first to get it out of the way. Pick a nice easy task to get your body and muscles warmed up. 
 
2. Lift carefully. We all know we should do this but It Is easy to forget when you are In a rush. To lift correctly, begin by squatting, not bending at your waist. Use both hands to hold the object, keeping it close to your body, and slowly straighten your legs as you lift. Don’t attempt to lift too much In one go.

3. Take it easy. Smaller loads and more trips Is the best way forward. It's far better to take an extra 5 minutes than to put an unnecessary strain on your back by attempting to lift more than you can handle In one go.

4. Take regular breaks. I always say to patients, listen to your body. Being stuck In the same position for extended periods can lead to Increased stress on the joints and muscle fatigue, so take regular breaks. Every 30 minutes or so be sure to stand up and move around and stretch out. Perhaps make a cup of tea!

5. Break up the longer activities Into smaller tasks. Rather than spend 3 hours weeding followed by 2 hours lopping divide the tasks up into smaller bite size chunks. Try weeding for 30 minutes then move onto the lopping for 30 minutes and then back to the weeding. This will ensure you are not fixed In the same position for hours on end putting unnecessary strain on the same joints and muscles which can lead to pain and discomfort. 

6. Get support from kneelers and chairs. Getting down on the ground—and back up—can be painful or even impossible, depending on your level of pain and flexibility. Heavy-duty kneelers, especially those with raised, padded handles to help you get up and down, allow you to use your arm strength to aid In the process. Kneelers usually include a well-cushioned base to reduce stress and impact on your knees and back. Many kneelers also convert to a low chair.

7. Modify your garden. It might be a bit extreme but If you've tried all of the above and are still having problems, then perhaps you could alter your garden to help ease the strain on your body. Elevated or raised beds look great and can make gardening much more enjoyable if you have knee or low back pain.

Gardening Is not only a great way to develop your fitness, coordination and improve your physical health its also good for your body, mind and soul. Getting outside for a much needed dose of vitamin d and connecting with nature lowers stress and Is proven to improve your mental health. You also get a fantastic sense of achievement when you’re done! So celebrate the return of the sun by getting back outside in the garden. 

Just follow the above tips and you should be fine, but if you do still happen to overdo it then just give us a call for a chat on 0208 088 0442, email info@hickshealth.com or book online and we can offer you some advice and do our best to you get back on the mend and in the garden again as soon as possible!

Thanks for reading 

Oliver

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