Category: Back Pain | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: April 14, 2016
Spring is here, and that means it’s time to get outside and plant some new vegetation in your garden or alongside your house. Gardening can be a relaxing hobby to increase the aesthetic view of your home or to harvest some home-grown vegetables, but it can also take a heavy toll on your spine. Today, we’re going to share a few tips to help keep your spine healthy when you’re out in the garden. Here are some tips to keep in mind before you head out to your garden.
If you have a pre-existing back condition or you just want to stay ahead of your spine pain, consider stretching for a few minutes before you begin gardening. Begin with some stretches that focus on the cervical (neck) area of your spine, and slowly work through your trunk and into your lumbar spine. This will help keep your muscles loose, which will be important if you’re going to be digging and bending.
Take It Slow
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and you shouldn’t expect to have your whole garden planted in a matter of hours. Overloading your spine is one of the quickest ways to injure your back, so don’t try to get everything planted in one session. Take regular breaks, and don’t be afraid to extend your gardening session over the course of a long weekend.
Gardening involves a lot of bending at the waist and twisting your trunk, so make sure you practice proper body mechanics. Bend at the waist, not at the spine, and be careful when pulling weeds. Get a good grip on the weed and slowly pull up, gradually increasing your pressure on the root. If you grab and yank wildly, you’re more likely to tweak something in your spine.
Diet plays an important role in your health during activity, but it oftentimes gets overlooked. Eat a variety of fruits, vegetables and whole grains to ensure your body is getting a regular dose of vitamins and minerals. Fatty foods can cause inflammation in the spine, which can cause pain during normal gardening movements.
Grab a Friend
Gardening is more fun if you do it with a friend, so grab your husband, kids or next door neighbor and see if they would be willing to lend a hand. This is especially important if you need to move heavy equipment or big bags of soil. The more people who pitch in, the less time it will take to finish, and that will save stress on your spine.
For more helpful tips, or to schedule a consultation with a spine specialist, give us a call today.