Now that spring has sprung, it’s gardening season! Whether you’re set on growing your own vegetables or simply love tending to your flowers and plants, you want to do so safely and effectively. The last thing you want is to throw out your back, leaving you unable to garden or perform other activities for days, weeks, or months.
In this article, we’re going to offer a few tips to help you protect your back and continue enjoying your hobby without worry.
Prevention is the Best Medicine
Gardening provides incredible mental health benefits, connecting us to nature and providing time to relax and just be.
However, keeping our bodies safe while doing this activity is vital to continued enjoyment. And this all starts with prevention. So, what should you know? How can you protect yourself?
Tip #1: Warm Up & Stretch
Starting with a proper warm-up prepares your body to move. While gardening can be quite relaxing, it also engages your core and requires some level of flexibility. Thus, warming up can help prevent lower back pain or sudden pain from twisting or reaching.
Surprisingly, there is 40% to 90% more pressure on your spine sitting when compared to standing. This means when you’re sitting, such as during gardening tasks, you want to pay close attention to what you’re doing. This may mean engaging your core to protect your lower back or checking your posture to avoid slumping forward.
Additionally, avid gardeners should add stretches, yoga postures, or other exercises that focus on increasing flexibility and posture into their routines. Movements like this will help combat some of the negative impacts that gardening can have on the body.
Tip #2: Use Technology Where You Can
There are plenty of devices, gadgets, and genius products to help you reduce the strain on your body and back. Some of these include:
You can automate many tasks with products like sprinkler and irrigation systems, smart mowers, and robotic weeders. These devices have plenty of benefits and keep your garden and yard looking well-kept. They also take the work out of you doing it on your own, saving your muscles and joints.
You can further insert smart plant monitors into the soil around your plants to provide you with plenty of data. In turn, you can keep tabs on water levels, light, and humidity without too much effort.
Specialised Gardening Products
To avoid constantly bending over, consider using elevated planters. If your garden is on ground level, you can buy a garden kneeler that can help take some of the strain off your body, back, and knees. Using a caddy can also help you easily carry around all your gardening tools rather than lifting them. If you’re someone with wrist pain, investing in compression braces can help ease the pain and thwart injuries.
Last but not least, wearing supportive footwear is critical, especially when gardening. At the start of the season, investing in a 4-claw weeder will do wonders for saving your back from pain. Weeding is one of the most strenuous activities, so we recommend doing everything within your power to make it easier.
Tip #3: Pace Yourself
With a bit of warm weather, you might feel ready to get outside and enjoy warm-weather activities, such as gardening. Yet, you might spend far too long in the garden without realising it until the next day when you’re sore and achy.
Instead, pace yourself. Do a little bit at a time to ease back into it. Or plan out your gardening projects ahead of time and aim to do a little each day. For bigger jobs, ask a family member or friend for some help if you feel like it might take a bigger toll on your body.
Looking to keep your back in shape this gardening season? Bradford House Chiropractic Clinic can help you avoid back pain, as well as help you overcome it. Book your appointment with our team today!