If blue skies mean “green fingers” then your back could be in for a real workout as you get your garden in shape-ship order this spring!
Having a beautiful garden can bring a lot of joy and satisfaction, but no amount of gorgeous grounds is worth the risk of back pain. That’s why our Fareham chiropractor has some top tips on keeping your back healthy while gardening. We’ll look at the two most common culprits of back pain – shovelling and weeding.
- Check that the shovel’s blade is parallel to your pelvis.
- Stand so that one foot is in front of the other and place your front foot on the shovel blade. Use your back leg as an anchor for stability.
- Lean your weight forward and allow the weight of your body to sink the shovel into the ground. Doing this will allow you to significantly reduce the risk of muscle strain.
- When you’re ready to lift up the soil, move your body weight to your back leg by using a gliding motion of the pelvis. Always bend at your hips and knees, and not your back. Forgetting to initiate the lift from your pelvis will make your back work harder.
- Bend your knees to take the shovel out of the ground. This will force your body to use the power of your pelvis, hips and legs instead of your back.
- When ditching the soil, move your whole body to where you want the soil to go. Again, you should position any bending from your hips and knees to make sure the vulnerable areas of your back don’t do any of the heavy graft.
- Invest in a small seat to avoid putting extra pressure on your back and hips.
- Ensure that your feet are planted firmly and evenly on the ground.
- Spread your legs apart and press your arm into your leg to help secure a good sitting position.
- In this wide legged sit, you will be able to support yourself as you reach for weeds. Your elbow on the inside of your knee will create an external brace for your body and reduce the risk of straining your back muscles.
Sometimes, the simplest changes make the biggest differences. And believe us, gardening is tougher on the spine that many people think!