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Spring is around the corner. With that warmer weather, it brings out the gardener in us. As a chiropractor, I start to see a lot of lower back pain and wrist pains related to gardening, raking, and pulling those weeds out. 

Therefore, here are my 5 suggestions on how to save your body from getting too sore while gardening.

1. Pre-Gardening: Warm Up

In order to get the blood circulation going, it’s a good idea to get your full body warmed up with a quick 10-min walk around the neighborhood or standing stretches to warm up your whole body. Essentially, get moving before you start your gardening.

Make sure to move your hands and legs or even take steps in place to ensure optimal blood circulation.  

2. Stretching before gardening

Joints that commonly take more impact from gardening are your lower back, shoulders, knees, neck, and wrists. 

So, I have 2 tips for stretching your body before starting gardening!

The Wrists

First, make 10 clockwise and counterclockwise circles with your wrist. After that, don’t forget your shoulders and repeat the same circles now with your shoulders.

The neck

Make 5 clockwise and 5 counterclockwise circles with your neck including some forward and backwards shoulder rolls.

The Knees

Best way to avoid knee pain is to garden smart. This means using a wheelbarrow or a garden car for moving heavier items. Efficiency is important but your avoiding back pain during gardening is more important so don’t get lazy and take the appropriate measures so you can continue gardening all season long.

The Low back

Make yourself into a standing star and bend down touching R hand to L ankle, come up and do the same thing on the other side. This is a dynamic stretch that will help warm up your lower back and increase the tolerance to repeated forward bending. 

3. Gardening: Use the Legs to Lift

Your legs are one of the most important power generators of your body. When lifting those heavy soil bags, be sure to use a squatting pattern and lift with your legs instead of your lower back. Ensure you keep a tight core and avoid twisting, specially when you are bent over.

and don’t forget, get the weight closer to your body to avoid the strain on your lumbar spine. 

4. Gardening: Avoid Repetitive Bends and Twists

Sometimes we get lazy and all we want is to finish a task and then go home. However, this is the most common mechanism that can result in lower back strain.

To keep away from it, when you are in a bent forward position, avoid twisting left and right, especially when moving objects side to side.

5. Gardening: Take Frequent Breaks 

Remember to take a break in every 14-20 minutes!

Since taking more breaks means you avoid your body becoming sensitive by spending an extended time being in one position. Stand up and repeat the same stretches outlined in Step 2.

Happy gardening

If you are struggling with back pain, we are here to help! Book your initial assessment with any of our practitioners!

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