Apr 8, 2014


As the days are getting longer, with warmer spring weather arriving and the Easter break around the corner, many of us turn our thoughts to the garden. After months of neglect, the garden deserves some due care and attention, but be aware there is a real risk you may injure yourself.

Just as our garden has been neglected, so too for many of us have our bodies! Several months of relative inactivity over the winter period is not the ideal preparation for an extended weekend of gardening. At the Personal Best clinic we are often inundated with calls from patients who have overdone the gardening and as a consequence are suffering from back pain.

Chiropractor Dr Kristine Hagen says that "When they go into the garden they, perhaps rightly, don't see themselves as athletes but the same principle applies - they shouldn't go from doing nothing to a strenuous activity” adding “that their bodies need, like the gardens, to be coaxed in gently and limbered up over a period of time."

What we at Personal Best clinic want, is for you to be fit and healthy enough to actually enjoy sitting in your garden come summer time and enjoy the fruits of your labours so here are 7 useful tips from the Personal Best Clinic to help prevent back pain when you are gardening.

Gardening Tips

1) Kneel on one leg rather than bending down repeatedly from the hips.

2) Try and keep your back hollow when digging, with the legs well spaced apart. Use your legs rather than your back.

3) Try and vary the tasks of the day into short bursts of different activities rather than slogging away all at one thing.

4) When mowing lawns with a hover mower try to resist the temptation to swing the mower from side to side in an arc. Instead mow forwards and backwards as you would with a conventional cylinder mower.

5) If you suffer from a knee problems and tend to stoop rather than kneel, then use a cushion to kneel on or gardening stool to sit on, try keeping the back as hollow as possible.

6) Keep yourself warm and covered, i.e. keep shirts tucked in; this prevents the muscle from becoming chilled.

7) If you ache the next day, rest, and seek the advice of our clinic team who will advise you whether you should apply heat, or ice packs to the area, or if you require further treatment.

If any of these exercises causes pain, contact Personal Best for further advice and treatment. Do not leave it to go away on its own, the earlier the treatment is carried out the better. You should exercise and keep fit so that you can enjoy your gardening and other leisure activities, rather than using your gardening as an exercise to keep fit.


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