How gardening affects your back
With lockdown anyone who has a garden has been spending much more of their copiously available free time making them look the best they have for years.
As a nation, we love our gardens and spend a considerable amount of time and money on them. As we rush to get those essential jobs done, there is a risk that we may end up injuring ourselves, especially our back.
What everyone wants is to be fit and healthy enough to sit in their garden and enjoy the fruits of their labour come summer time, so here are some helpful tips from our Principal Chiropractor, Rebecca from Maidenhead Podiatry and Chiropractic clinic:
What can I do? – Top ten tips –
Dress appropriately –
Don’t wear clothes that are tight or constrict your movement.
Gardening is like any other exercise, you need to warm up first –
Don’t go straight into heavy garden work, start off with lighter jobs first, this will lessen the chance of muscle strain.
Don’t twist again –
If you have to use a ladder for any of your gardening tasks, make sure you are always facing it. Rather than lean or reach, move the ladder regularly, always keep your shoulders, hips and knees pointing in the same direction and make sure the ladder is firmly and safely planted in position. If possible, have someone else standing there to keep an eye on things.
Clever pruning –
Get as close as possible to the things you are pruning; avoid overstretching to reach the area you are dealing with and invest in some long handled secateurs to reach plants and bushes that are beyond your normal reach.
Digging deep –
When digging, try not to bend or twist during the movement and alternate the foot you use to drive the spade into the ground.
is best achieved with short movements; don’t reach out too far.
Use a mat and kneel when doing close weeding work, planting out or when potting up your plants, it is much better to do this at a table.
Take a break –
Vary your activity; spend no more than 20-30 minutes on any one thing and take regular breaks.
Be clever with the paving –
If laying a patio keep the slab close to your body and bend your knees. It is sometimes better to bend one knee rather two, as your supporting leg gives you a position of strength and if using railway sleepers, two people will probably be needed. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Plan ahead –
If you are planning a trip to the local DIY store and buying heavy items, such as cement or gravel, buy smaller bags rather than one big bag as they are easier and safer to carry. Shovel the contents of large bags straight into smaller containers or wheelbarrow from the back of the car. If you are having items delivered, have them unloaded as close to where you need them as possible. This will save the effort of moving them again and a specialist garden trolley might be worth investing in to move these sorts of materials around, especially so if you have lots of patio pots to move.
Rebecca Rees, BSc and Lucy Steel BSc MSc DC have over forty years of experience between them, are members of the British Chiropractic Association (BCA) and are registered with the General Chiropractic Council (GCC).
If you would like more information or to make an appointment with one of our Chiropractors, call – 01628 773588 and speak to one of our receptionists or email email@example.com.
Visit: www.maidenheadpodiatry.co.uk/treatments/chiropractic for more information on Chiropractic. How it works and what it can do for you.