It’s that time of year again for clearing out weeds and sprucing up your flower beds. Gardening may not look like a marathon, but it can take a lot more energy and strain on your back than you think. While it can be a productive, relaxing activity to some, it can also turn into a sore nightmare for others. Between the bending and tugging, your back is vulnerable to pressure or pulls.
It doesn’t have to be a painful chore, though. There are ways to avoid a sore back by taking a few steps to adjust how you garden.
Before Your Hurt Yourself, Put Down that Mulch
Jumping right into lifting or twisting can lead to some potentially serious injuries. Be sure to take your time stretching before you get down and dirty. The best way to get your spine and hip motion warmed up is to perform a dynamic warmup that focuses on total body movement. First, stand with your feet shoulder width apart and put your hands in a prayer sign. Begin rotating your upper body slowly left and right and as you feel your body movement improve increase the speed slightly. Then, lie on your back with your knees pulled together up to your chest. Taking slow breaths, ease your knees from one side to the other. The classic lean backwards with your hands on your hips will help stretch your back the opposite way of bending forward.
You’re in the Weeds, What Now?
Gardening in the heat should not be done for too long a period of time. Not only will you dehydrate, your sore back is going to keep you out of the game for a while. Your back will thank you if you are sure to take breaks stretching and keeping your posture safe.
Sitting might seem like the most comfortable option for a moment or two. But between the circulation cut off to your legs and the twisting around in one spot, you are bound to cause more strain that will inevitably lead to pain. And bending at the waist is just begging for disc or knee pressure as you pull and dig.
The best position you can be in for gardening is actually on all fours. Having five points of contact between your knees, feet, and a hand or two on the ground is stable posture for your core. And luckily, you can keep your legs dirt-free still by using a foam garden pad or old towel.
Afterwards, You’ve Dug Yourself a Hole
If you were unaware of positions to avoid, or lifted something too heavy, your back may be aching or tingling because of that disc pressure. Even after the best attempts at protecting your posture, a sore back can arise. Fortunately, mild pain can be alleviated at home with hot compresses or some gentle stretching.
In addition to stretching, anti-inflammatory supplements like Omega3s and turmeric help decrease swelling and improve function.
If you’re feeling more severe or persistent soreness, pain, or stiffness, it’s time to get some lower back therapy from your local Pittsburgh chiropractor! Turack Chiropractic in the Pittsburgh area is your go-to facility dedicated to giving you your fullest motion and stability. Dr. Dan Turack practices an integrative form of Chiropractic that incorporates a variety of manual adjusting and soft tissue techniques perfect for lower back therapy or injuries. You can give us a call at 724-940-3499 or check us out online to book your appointment!