Now that spring has arrived and the sun is out, many people take the opportunity to start their gardening. However, despite appearing as gentle exercise, the often overlooked outcome of your successfully sprouting spuds is a painful back. Prolonged stooping and bending can place considerable stress on ligaments and joints in the lower lumbar spine resulting in tenderness and inflammation. Yet, do not despair! Following these simple chiropractic gardening tips can help ensure that your spring gardening is pain free.
- Kneel on one leg rather than bending down repeatedly from the hips.
- Try and keep your back hollow when digging, with the legs well spaced apart. Use your legs rather than the back.
- Try and vary your tasks for the day into short burst of different activity.
- When mowing lawns with a hover mower try to resist the temptation to swing the mower from side to side in an arc. Instead mow forwards and backwards as you would with a conventional cylinder mower.
- If you suffer from knee problems and tend to stoop rather than kneel, try using a cushion to kneel on or a gardening stool to sit on.
- Keep yourself warm and covered i.e. keep shirts tucked in; this prevents the muscles from becoming chilled.
- It is important to warm up before any strenuous activity. Your Chiropractor can supply some simple muscle strengthening and flexibility exercises; however, even walking can provide the simplest form of warm up.
Should any of the above or gardening cause you pain, contact your Chiropractor for advice and treatment. They can advise whether you should apply heat or ice packs to the area or whether you require further treatment. Do not leave it to go away on its own, the earlier the treatment is carried out the better.
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