Lady Gardening in her allotment

Back care tips for Gardeners

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With spring in the air, I bet you’re itching to get out and dig into your garden, right? Gardening’s great for us, the best type of natural therapy! However, every spring we see patients in the clinic complaining of pulls and strains from a weekend overdoing it in the garden. So, let’s chat about keeping your back happy while you’re playing in the dirt.

1. Warm-Up Time

Think of gardening like a sport. You wouldn’t just dive into a game without warming up, would you? So, give yourself about 5-10 minutes to stretch before you start. It’ll get your muscles ready for action and help avoid any unnecessary aches. A simple stretch overhead, out to the sides and gently stretch your calves on a nearby step will all help ease you in!

2. Gear Up Smart

Get tools that suit you. As we get older our grip and ability to manage heavy trowels lessens. Opt for light weight especially for repetitive digging jobs. kneeling is also better than bending—saves your back a lot of trouble. 

3. Lift Like a Pro

We’ve all heard it: lift with your legs, not your back. But it’s easy to forget, especially when you’re eyeing that heavy pot or bag of soil. Keep your back straight, use those knees, and keep stuff close to your body when lifting. And no twisting mid-lift—turn your whole body instead.

4. Break Time is Key

Gardening can suck you in, but don’t forget to take breaks. Stand up, stretch a bit, and walk around every so often. Drink water, too—staying hydrated is super important, especially when you’re out in the sun.

5. Listen to What Your Body’s Saying

If something hurts, that’s your body’s way of saying, “Take it easy!” Don’t ignore it. Pain means you need to slow down or check your technique. And if that pain sticks around, it might be time to come and see me, just to make sure everything’s alright.

Remember gardening should feel good, not like a pain marathon.

Take care and happy gardening!

Nick

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