Tips for Avoiding Back Injury While Gardening
Gardening is great way to get outside after a long winter and get in some exercise, sun and fresh air! At Arrow Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation, we’re always looking out for our patients’ health, making sure they use proper techniques to avoid back injury while enjoying their activities and gardening is no different.
Gardening can be very stressful on your spine, from bending to lifting heavy objects, but below are just a few tips to avoid injury:
- Believe it or not, but just like any other physical activity it’s important to warm-up and stretch before gardening. Stretching your back can help loosen the muscles that help support your spine so they work more efficiently, putting less stress on your vertebrae.
- Investing in kneepads not only helps prevent knee injury or soreness, it can help your back. Resting gingerly on your knees to avoid pain or soreness puts undo stress on your back whether you realize it or not. By wearing kneepads, you can effectively lean on your knees so they don’t hurt and put less strain on your back.
- Remember to take a break! Sometimes we can get so caught up on finishing a project that we forget to take a break from work, stretch our bodies and relax a bit.
- Use a wheelbarrow and bend at the knees to avoid hurting your back. Just as in any other kind of lifting, brush and soil can get heavy so use the aid if wheelbarrow rather than straining your back.
- Avoid awkward positions and use a healthy posture while gardening. If possible, stay vertical as much as you can rather than bending over. Try using tools like hoes and rakes that have longer handles to avoid bending over. Continuous bending can really put a strain on your spine.
As always, be sure to stay hydrated, especially in the warmer weather, to avoid injury all around. The warm weather has just begun, so practicing a few of these safe gardening tips can help you enjoy the spring and summer as long as possible.