Several months of relative inactivity over the winter period is not the ideal preparation for an extended weekend of gardening. Our clinic is often inundated with calls from patients who have overdone the gardening and consequently 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."
Our aim, is for you to be fit and healthy enough to enjoy sitting in your garden come summer time and enjoy the fruits of your labours! So, to help you achieve this goal, here are 7 useful tips from the Personal Best Chiropractic Clinic to help prevent back pain when you are gardening.
Chiropractic 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 problem 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 your chiropractor 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 one of our team 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. For more information about Chiropractic and other services available at Personal Best call 01453 873811 or visit www.personalbeststudio.co.uk