You would be surprised at how demanding gardening can be on your body. Although spending time in the garden is a rewarding activity, it sometimes can cause pain in your neck, back, shoulders and legs. Below are some simple tips you can follow to minimize your risk of injuring yourself and allow you to enjoy gardening activities to the fullest.
1. Just like any type of exercise, it is a good idea to do a warm-up before hand. You can do this by taking a 10 minute brisk walk followed by some upper and lower body stretching.
2. When lifting, use good body mechanics by lifting with your legs and not your back. Do this also when bending down to pull weeds. It is common to bend at the waist to pull weeds or to move light objects, but by doing this, you are placing increased stress on your lower back. For heavier objects, use a wheelbarrow or ask for assistance.
3. Do not kneel on both knees, rather kneel in a lunge position with 1 knee on a soft cushion. This will help maintain a neutral spine alignment and decrease stress on your lower back and hamstrings.
4. If you notice you have pain, it is your body’s way of telling you to stop what you are doing. Check your body mechanics with this activity, switch tasks or take a short break.
5. To prevent next day soreness, perform a 10 minute cool down, stretch and take a warm shower following your gardening activities.
If you have pain that lasts for more than 2 to 3 days, give us a call and we can schedule a FREE screening appointment to determine if you need to be seen by your physician.