It’s that time of the year again! Time to put away the snow shovels and bring out your gardening tools. As the weather begins to warm up, don’t let the fear of a sore back prevent you from getting outside in your garden. However, some people do forget how labor-intensive gardening can be and you need to be prepared before you begin. Long hours of repetitive bending over to weed and plant, lifting heavy bags of soil and fertilizer, straining to dig and water the plants, and all other movements that are a part of gardening can lead to issues with the alignment of our musculoskeletal system. Chiropractic care can restore alignment in the muscles and bones so that you can carry out these activities with ease and avoid mis-alignments.
We would love to share some helpful tips for you to remember how to be spine friendly when working outside.
- Have the right tools for your desired job. Make sure your shovels and equipment have sharpened edges and good grips
- Ensure you are staying hydrated and drinking plenty of water and fluids
- Alternate between positions and different tasks
- Lift light, seek help for heavier loads
- Take plenty of breaks. Know your limits and listen to your body. It is important not to over exert yourself
- Have cushioned knee pads to provide support and protection while kneeling over in the garden
- You should consider location and size of your garden
- Stretch prior to and after gardening to avoid strains and spasm
- Protect your feet and wear shoes with supportive arch and sole
- Ice any area of the body that may be sore
- Never bend at the waist while weeding and digging. Squat; grasp the object with both hands while pulling it close to your body. Straighten your legs slowly; letting those muscles do the work of lifting. Consider using a dolly, wheelbarrow, or wagon to move heavy items around and minimize the need to lift them.
- Eat nutritious and organic to fuel your body
- Spinal check ups will keep your neck and back healthy, while preventing flare-ups
Musculoskeletal injuries can reduce your productivity in the garden, but at Gardner Schofield Chiropractic, we’ll keep you working in the garden you love. Just remember these spine-saving gardening tips!