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Hainesport Chiropractor Shares Important Tips To Help Prevent Back Pain While Gardening

It’s gardening season!

The weather has been nice and I’ve seen a flurry of activity at the local garden stores!  People are selecting their plants, picking up bags of soil and mulch as well as arming themselves with the latest gardening tools.

This is also the time of year in the office I see plenty of people who end up pulling their backs instead of pulling their weeds.

In general most people are less active during the winter and once that nice weather hits they hit the yard full force.  As a result they often overdo it and hurt themselves in the process.

Pull your weeds and not your back while gardening

Pull your weeds and not your back while gardening

Today I want to share with you some powerful tips to help you prevent back pain while gardening.

  1. Set realistic goals:  Don’t try to do all of your yardwork at once.  I like ambition but too much will certainly get you into trouble.  Instead chunk your projects into smaller more manageable tasks which will help you feel productive but not injure your back in the process.
  2. Warm-up:  As crazy as it sounds before you head out into the yard take time to warm-up and loosen up.  Spend 5 minutes just walking to get your blood flowing and to get your muscles warm.  Follow that with several minutes of jumping jacks, squats and/or lunges.  Following this short dynamic warm-up then spend several minutes stretching your back as well as your upper and lower body.  After all this you should be ready to take on your first project.  If after your warm-up you still feel stiff then make sure that you don’t overdo it.   Instead save your more strenuous activities for another day when you’re feeling better.
  3. Use proper tools:  Make sure that you are well equipped with the proper tools.  Make sure it is the right tool for the right job.  It will make your life much easier.  For example, instead of bending over to pull weeds try using a long handled no bend weed puller.  It will likely save you time and less strain on your back.  Don’t skimp on your tools.
  4. Use good form:  Be sure to keep basic body mechanics in mind while engaging in yardwork.  It’s so easy to mindlessly bend over and pick up a bag of mulch or twisting excessively while raking.  Instead think before you act.  Make sure that you are bending and lifting from the hips and knees and not your back.  Be sure to keep your nose between your toes when raking or shoveling to avoid excessive twisting at the lower back.  If your spreading mulch or pulling weeds try using a kneeling pad or knee pads and get down on the ground so you’re not putting excessive strain on your lower back.  Proper form goes a long way when it comes to protecting your back.
  5. Take frequent breaks:  It is so easy to lose track of time when engaging in home chores.  You start on one project, notice something else and begin working on it, then something else catches your attention and next thing you know it’s been hours of work without taking a break and not recalling what your initial intentions were.  Sound familiar?  Do yourself a favor and take frequent breaks.  Every hour break for 15 minutes or so.  Get an ice cold drink, stretch and relax.  It will keep you fresh so that you can keep working and help to reduce your risk of injuring your lower back.
  6. Recovery:  After you accomplished everything you set out to do for the day be sure to take time to recover.  Take a few minutes to walk around to admire your work.  Take a few minutes to stretch.  If you are feeling muscle soreness consider taking an Epsom salt bath to sooth those achy joints and muscles.  If your back is sore consider putting some ice on it to help reduce any pain and inflammation.
  7. Chiropractic care:  If after following all of the above tips you walk away with some back pain then don’t waste time, get to a chiropractor to have it properly taken care of.  All too often I hear people say they thought the pain would just go away and then they ultimately end up in my office after a couple of weeks of suffering with a condition that is worse than it should be.  Don’t mess around with the pain, get it properly evaluated and taken care of.  And if you really want to work on preventing a lower back problem see the chiropractor before embarking on any yardwork.  Preventative chiropractic care can help you significantly reduce your risk of injury.

Well there you have it!  Some valuable tips to help you protect your back and reduce your risk of a lower back injury.

Remember to pull your weeds and not your back!

As always, I hope this information has served you and will take you one step closer to your desired health goals.

Did you like this information? If so, please be sure to let me know what you liked by sending me an email at or leave me a comment on Facebook. I would love to keep the conversation going.

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