Gardens have been a sanctuary for many as we’ve been confined to our homes for the past few months. With more time to devote to green fingered persuits and the return of warm weather drawing us outdoors, lots of us are spending our lockdown digging, planting and cultivating our outdoor spaces.
For some though, this increased demand on our bodies comes at a price. Gardening is a common cause of back pain so if you find yourself seizing up after a spell of cultivating your beds or tending to your lawn, read on for how to enjoy caring for your garden without the accompanying misery.
Bending forward increases the pressure on your discs. Sit on a stool or use a kneeling mat for weeding/planting and use a table or shelf to plant pots whilst standing to keep your spine in a neutral, upright position.
If you have lots of digging, raking or hoeing to do, think about getting hold of longer-handled tools so you don’t have to hunch over as you work.
In an unnatural position or when placed under load, our backs can ‘seize up’ after a period of time as musles fatigue and discs are placed under stress. Avoid this by taking a break and moving around.
Doing this every 15-20 mins has been proven to prevent changes in the discs. Grab a cuppa, do a few stretches or walk a couple of laps around the garden to loosen off.
Despite our best efforts to apply a good lifting technique, our backs often take the brunt of lifting heavy bags of compost, or moving weighty pots around the garden.
Invest in some plant caddies to put under your pots so you can wheel them around instead of having to lift them to move them, or use a sack truck or wheelbarrow to transport heavier items.
Our backs are weakened when we reach forward, particularly if we twist at the same time. Plant close to borders or paths or use raised beds so you don’t have to reach far.
If you are experiencing back pain when gardening and would like to speak to a specialist for some complimentary advice on how to ease the pain, please email [email protected] with your name, number, best time to call and brief outline of your problem, one of our team of specialists will be in touch.