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Gardening Tips to Avoid Low Back Pain

Gardening Tips to Avoid Low Back Pain
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Low back pain and gardening seem to go hand in hand, especially getting the garden ready after a long sedentary winter! As many people who love gardening know, keeping up with the weeds through the summer can also take its toll on the low back. Let’s take a look at ways to minimize low back pain or injury!

  • Try out no-till gardening to keep weeds at bay.
  • Raised garden beds mean less bending over and reaching.
  • Plant perennials. They keep on giving each year!
  • Rotate between tasks that require different body positions. Determine what time interval works best for your back (rotate every two, three, or five minutes). This avoids prolonged static faulty postures that can lead to an aching back!
  • Set the timer on your phone to remind you when it’s time to stretch (try every 5 to 10 minutes, for starters). Ask your chiropractor for specific stretches that are right for you as we all have different needs.
  • Strengthening the core muscles can help prevent injury. Ask your chiropractor for tips on which exercises to try first.
  • Bend with hip hinging! This is accomplished by bending the knees, poking the buttocks up so your low back maintains its inward (lordotic) curve as you bend and reach toward the ground. This minimizes lumbar spinal loading and spares compression of the intervertebral disks!
  • When lifting heavy bags of mulch or potting soil, grasp opposite corners, drag the bag close to you, and pull it up onto your legs as a shelf while hip hinging before standing up and walking. Or use a wagon or garden cart to move the heavy bags.
  • Keep objects you’re lifting close to you to reduce the load on the low back.
  • Kneel if your knees can handle it and support your weight with one arm while the other is working. Use a boat cushion or some other padding to minimize pressure under the kneecaps to avoid knee bursitis and pain.
  • Sit on the ground. Get the weight off the low back and change positions frequently.
  • Consider long, full length tools over hand tools and/or rotate between them.

Lastly, before jumping back into gardening, go visit your doctor of chiropractic and get checked out. Studies have shown that chiropractic patients who attend wellness or maintenance visits report 12-13 fewer days with low back in the following year.

Thousands of Doctors of Chiropractic across the United States and Canada have taken "The ChiroTrust Pledge":“To the best of my ability, I agree to
provide my patients convenient, affordable,
and mainstream Chiropractic care.
I will not use unnecessary long-term
treatment plans and/or therapies.”

To locate a Doctor of Chiropractic who has taken The ChiroTrust Pledge, google "The ChiroTrust Pledge" and the name of a town in quotes.

(example: "ChiroTrust Pledge" "Olympia, WA")