Back pain! Avoid it when gardening – here are some tips

Low back painBack pain! Take care of your back when gardening!

The sun has finally come out and although it will probably be patchy until July, if you’re out gardening in the sunshine use these tips to avoid getting back pain whilst you are doing it.

  1. Seems obvious but take regular breaks. Take a short break every 15 minutes, get up, walk around, sit down or stretch (depending on what it is you’ve been doing). Taking a break will make sure that your muscles don’t stiffen up and will ensure that your spine remain supported and that you don’t get back pain.
  2. Avoid repeated bending. Repetitive strain can happen to any muscle including the back muscles, if you are digging for long periods of time then you run the risk of them spasaming and developing back pain, either at the time or later that day or the next one. Refer to number 1 above and also try to subtly change your posture with each strike of the shovel, these subtle changes will activate different parts of the muscle instead of the same part continuously.
  3. I’m taking a break here and so should you! (refer to number 1)
  4. Try not to be fixed in one position for too long (sort of the opposite to number 2!). If you stay stooped or bent over for a long period of time then the muscles will cease up as they are trying their best to keep you static in that position and then they suddenly have to move rapidly when you decide to get up and you can strain them which can appear as sharp back pain. Keep moving around and as always refer to number 1, if you keep the muscles ‘firing’ the less chance they have of ceasing up… simples!
  5. If you have any pre-existing complaints be it back pain, elbows, wrists, knees or ankles then wear a support and again avoid straining repetitively.
  6. Refer to number 1!
  7. If you do experience any sharp pains either during or after the gardening activity, stop what you’re doing and apply an ice pack or a bag of frozen veg wrapped in a tea-towel to the affected area for 15 mins.
  8. If you do injure yourself and the ice hasn’t gotten rid of it the please call us and make an appointment as soon as possible¬†as the longer you leave it, the longer the back pain can persist and the longer it can take for it to get better!
  9. Stretch! Some simple stretches of the legs, arms and back periodically will lessen the chance of the muscles ceasing up and will help to prevent any cramp. Below are some simple stretches that can help but please note that if you have any pre-existing conditions that may become aggravated by these exercises then do not attempt them at all.
  10. If all else fails then РRefer to number 1! For more info visit:
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Peter Heale Chiropractor in Hitchin and LutonFrom the team at Heale's Chiropractic Clinics
Over 30 years of helping people in Hitchin and Luton and the surrounding areas of Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire

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