Wednesday, 18 May 2011
How to avoid back pain when gardening.
Gardening can be a strain on the back with bending, twisting and lifting leading to possible injuries. Why do we not treat gardening like any other physical exercise where we, if we follow the advice, generally warm up before starting and cool down afterwards. Starting exercise with stiff muscles is not clever and by warming up problems like I encountered this morning could have been avoided. Warming up does what it says, by increasing the temperature of the muscles the probability of over stretching is reduced.
Other tips to follow and avoid back pain are:
(1) Avoid stooping when planting or weeding - being on your knees, using a kneeler, is a better body position.
(2) If you have lots of planting to do, stand up every 20 minutes and stretch your back.
(3) Avoid lifting heavy weights, use a wheelbarrow whenever possible but don't overload it.
(4) Always bend your knees to lift, hold the object close to the body whilst tightening your stomach muscles and keep you back straight.
(5) Try not to stay in one position too long. If you have been kneeling to weed for a period then ensure your next job is standing.
(6) Pace yourself, especially when digging, have lots of breaks and don't try and do it all in one day.