Gardening and back pain

It has been a long, cold, wet winter, but it’s not long now until spring.  I’m starting to think about my garden, which fortunately has needed very little attention this winter but it won’t be long until I start to get my vege patch ready and I’m sure there will be plenty of weeding to do as the days get warmer, sunnier and probably still wet!,

With all the digging, bending, lifting, pulling, shovelling to come, it is a good time to remind ourselves of some basic back care. I look after my back when gardening by just following a few simple rules:

  1. Task variation

Mix it up.  Don’t get stuck doing one job for hours on end.  Ideally change your jobs every half an hour and have regular breaks, even if it’s just to grab a drink of water or use the toilet.

  1. Stretch it out

If you have been doing lots of bending, make sure you take the opportunity to arch backwards, if you’ve been doing a lot of reaching up high and leaning backwards, then lie on your back on the ground and hug your knees in towards your chest

  1. Work those legs

Give your back a break from all the bending and bend your knees instead to reach the ground

  1. Core

Engage those deep tummy muscles to help support your back, especially when you’re bending, lifting and tugging on those pesky weeds!  And to further protect your back make sure your keep that armful of weeds or potting mix in nice and close to your body

 

And don’t forget, if you do get in trouble, you’re friendly physios are always happy to get you back on track!