How To Avoid Back Pain When Gardening
Gardening and back pain are often synonymous. Yet, we are told that gardening is good for us both mentally and physically.
It is true that gardening helps us to improve our overall health. However, when you experience back pain, you often find gardening is more challenging. That does not mean you should give it up.
Not only does gardening have health benefits, but when you plant the right crops, you also get the opportunity to enjoy eating healthy vegetables.
Carry On Gardening
With a few tricks of the trade, you can easily carry on gardening. Read our mini-guide and find out how easy it is to enjoy gardening.
10 Tips for Gardeners with Back Pain
Warm-Up Before You Start
The worst thing you can do is to throw yourself into gardening without warming up.
Just like when you exercise, your muscles and joints need to warm up.
One of the best ways to warm-up is to go for a short walk before you pick up your shovel or your seed packet. Walk on the spot or around your garden with your arms swinging for about 5 minutes.
If you are going to be doing a lot of bending down, do a few stretches to warm up your muscles. Bend over, place your hands on the wall and lean into the stretch. You have now stretched your back.
Lift With Your Legs
As all gardeners know, gardening does involve heavy lifting. Before you start gardening, practise lifting with your legs.
The best way to get strong legs and practise lifting with your legs is by doing squats. When you do squats, you become much more conscious of how you move your body. If you can try to fit in 5 minutes of squats every day.
Not only will squats help to strengthen your legs. Squat exercises also help to improve your balance which stops you from getting dizzy. Lifting up a grow bag from the ground and putting it in your greenhouse can make you feel dizzy.
Gardening does involve a lot of lifting. Stop and think about it and you will realise you even slightly lift your wheelbarrow when you move it around the garden.
Buy a Kneeler or Low Foot Stool
If you are going to be spending a lot of time on your knees planting seeds or new plants, investing in a low footstool or kneeler is a great idea.
When you use a kneeler or footstool, you are not directly on the ground. Getting up from this position is much easier on both your back and legs.
Also, leave a supporting stick next to your footstool. Using support to help you stand up makes standing up easier. Should you happen to feel dizzy, you have the stick to lean on.
It doesn't have to be a walking stick. A pole of some kind will do. If you are into Scandinavian pole walking, try using one of your walking poles for a bit of extra support.
Always Keep Fit
When you have been gardening for a while, you realise that gardening is very much about general and functional fitness.
To get the most out of your hobby, keeping fit all of the time is important.
How do you do that when the weather is bad?
If the weather does not allow you to work in your garden, you should include other exercises in your daily fitness routine. Going swimming is one of the best exercises you can do for general fitness.
When not swimming, you should include other activities in your daily fitness routine including walking and bike riding. Another exercise that benefits many gardeners is yoga.
Yoga involves a lot of stretching and toning your muscles. As you mainly use your body weight, yoga is a very natural means to keep fit. Yes, you can watch yoga videos but going to a yoga class once or twice per week is even better for you.
As yoga is also good for general posture, you will find that not only will it help you when it comes to gardening. Add to your lifestyle and you will soon find it has many other health benefits as well.
Specialist Tools And Raised Benches
If you are finding bending down extra challenging, you should look out for the right tools.
Bending down to use trowels is very hard on your posture. Not only are you bending your back, but you are also bending your knees. Buy a long-handled trowel and make tasks such as weeding and sowing much easier.
Planting seeds with a long tube is also a good idea. Any tube will do. Simply drop in the seed from the top and then cover it over with the trowel.
Raised benches and growing tables are a fantastic solution when you have a problem with back pain. You can order them online. On most occasions, they are delivered fully assembled. All you have to do is to get planting and growing.
Invest In a Hose Pipe
There is no doubt about it. Picking up and lifting watering cans is very hard work. Many gardeners don't realise that one litre of water weighs one kilo. That means when you are picking up a 10-litre watering can, you are in fact picking up 10 kilos.
Unless you are exceptionally fit, lifting 10 kilos is a real challenge. Instead of struggling, invest in a hose pipe. Attach it to your water source and make life easier for yourself.
Take a Break
If you have an allotment, you may find that you end up working for hours at an end. The same thing can easily happen when you have a garden or polytunnel.
Make sure that you stop and take frequent breaks. Straighten your back up and have a cup of coffee. Not everything you have to do in your garden has to be done today. Instead, make a plan and see how much you can do per day with ease.
Letting yourself get cold is another problem. When your muscles and joints get cold, picking up an injury is much easier.
Before you know it, you find yourself with serious lower back pain. Wearing layers help. When you wear layers, you can peel off a layer when you get too warm. Once you start feeling the cold again, you can always put on the layer that you took off.
Have a Bath or Warm Shower
A warm bath helps when you have finished gardening. Shower gels containing arnica and rosemary help to soothe aching muscles and tired joints.
Wear a Back Support
A back support will help. Most importantly, you should try to protect your lower back. Of course, there are different kinds of back support. The right support for gardeners is a belt that you wear around the lower part of your back.
They are not expensive and help to prevent back pain.
Start gardening smart and you will find that avoiding back pain may be easier than you think.
Brought you by Your Back Pain Relief.