People tend to mistakenly think of gardening as a soft, serene activity. And, yes, while many find it relaxing, it can also be quite a punishing workout, especially in the hotter months (when most people do their gardening). All that bending over, digging, pulling weeds – it’s not only exhausting, but it can be a source of excruciating back pain. If you are prone to back pain, yet still want to maintain your garden personally, follow these few tips to avoid discomfort.
5 Gardening Tips For Avoiding Back Pain
1.Warm Up With Some Stretching
You were probably taught to stretch before a workout, and the same ought to apply for gardening – it is, after all, quite the workout. Stretching is thought to increase your flexibility and extend your range of motion, in this case allowing you to bend and twist (within reason) without overextending yourself. Stretching alone can’t save you from back pain, but it’s certainly a good start, and should be part of any gardener’s routine.
2. Avoid Twisting Motions & Be Careful When Lifting
There is no amount of stretching that can save you from a bad twist, which can put stress on your spine’s discs and cause some serious back pain. Sudden, jerky twisting, as well as prolonged flexion can cause pain, so make sure you are careful with your movements and listen to your body for when it has had enough bending. Also, when you are lifting those planters or pots, practice safe lifting – standing close to the object, squatting, and lifting with your knees, not your back.
3. Take A Few Water Breaks
Water breaks are just great for your overall wellbeing, but in regards to back pain they serve two functions. One is to simply get you to stop and take a break, thereby ensuring you do not extend yourself for too long. The other reason you should take water breaks is because a hydrated body is less likely to suffer problems. Those flowers aren’t the only things that need a bit of water every once in a while!
4. See A Chiropractor
If you are experiencing back pain, or know that you are prone to it, do yourself a favour and start looking for the best chiropractor in your area; they will not only help by offering spinal adjustments, but they will also offer you usable tips for avoiding back pain in the future. Not sure what stretches to do? Ask a chiropractor. Not sure what motions you should and should not be making when you garden? Ask a chiropractor. You get the idea!
5. Make Use Of Your Gardening Tools
Gardening tools are made to be of service, so use them. They even make garden tools especially for people suffering from back pain, including a garden kneeler and an extendable weed remover. These ergonomically designed tools are a godsend for the person who loves gardening but hates feeling pain the next day.
In the same way you tend to your garden, you must also tend to your body, making sure it gets the sustenance it needs and avoids being pulled around too much. Here’s to gardening pain-free!
I have got to get back into the habit of stretching!
Reducing strain with prevention is key! Be good to your body
This is a great article. My Mother in law has stopped gardening for this very reason. I will be sharing this with her. Hopefully she’ll find it useful and ways to pace herself so she can find a way to doing what she loves.
It’s difficult to do the things you love when you have back issues. Thanks for sharing the article!
Great tips ! It’s so important to save your back.
I love to garden but I find it harder every year to keep up with the weeds because I have MS & Arthritis. Because I have MS can’t take medications for Arthritis or they would make MS worse.
These are great tips . I am a landscaper so I know all about the back pain from gardening . We do stretches every morning which really helps and being hydrated is also very important . Have to say I am afraid of going to a chiropractor though lol.
Chiropractor can help, but you have to go with your comfort level and if you don’t have any issues, you can wait. Thanks for commenting!
Having a raised garden would also help a lot too for people with real bad backs!
In our backyard we have five raised bed gardens for vegies, tomatoes, carrots, garlic & a few herbs. We also have blueberries & ever-bearing strawberries & some flowers. I use a stool that I can either sit on or kneel on which helps with weeding on the back.
These are great tips! I love gardening so much, but it does hurt my body crouching, etc. Thank you for sharing 🙂
These are all great tips and I will try to remember and follow to avoid mre back pain.Thank you for sharing.
After recently suffering from back pain, I need all the advice I can to prevent it from occuring once spring comes.