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The Ultimate Back Pain Relief Tips Blog

Avoid Back Pain While Gardening

Posted by Dr. Jeff Winternheimer D.C. on Thu, Jun 20, 2013 @ 12:48 PM

back pain while gardeningIt’s summer time and gardening is a great way to spend time outdoors and relax. But if you suffer from back pain gardening can just be impossible. The bending over, twisting, turning, and carrying of heavy items can really do a number on your back. Use these tips to avoid back pain while gardening!

  • Warm up! Walk around your garden for 5 minutes to get the blood flowing and loosen the muscles before doing any of the heavy-duty gardening.
  • Avoid prolonged flexion! Flexion is when you are bending with the spine & doing it for long periods of time loads the disc. To avoid flexion bend at the hips by doing hip hinges.
    • Click here for how to do hip hinges.
    • Purchase a two-wheeled cart! Instead of using a wheelbarrow use one with 2 wheels to carry your plants around. This will help balance the load while maintaining the hip hinge. It will also take the pressure off the spine.
    • Purchase a garden kneeler! Make sure that the kneeler you purchase can work as a cushion for your knees as well as chair for when you need to sit.
      • The cushion on the garden kneeler will allow you to be in a position for a longer period of time.
      • When the kneeler is used as a seat it will allow you to be able to sit in a hip hinge position so you don’t have to strain your back.
      • Place your kneeler in front of whatever your working on so it is easy access and so you don’t have to twist and turn.
      • Purchase a long handed cultivator! Regular cultivators can make it hard to reach forcing you to bend and twist your spine. With the long cultivator you can extend your range of motion while maintaining a straight spine.
      • Posture! This is vitally important, so stand as straight as possible.  Avoid having your head down, try to keep your head up while you shovel or rake.
      • Drink lots of water!!!

Remember healthy spine + healthy garden = healthy life! Stay safe and have a great summer.


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Topics: Illinois Back Institute, Back Pain Tips, what to do about back pain, avoid back pain, back pain while gardening