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Gardening Tips From Your Chiropractor

SunflowerNow the weather is getting warmer and sunnier it is lovely to get outside to do some jobs in the garden!

Gardening is fun, great exercise and very rewarding…however after some time off over winter you need to be careful not to overdo it. After lack of gardening over the winter period our bodies and particularly our backs are more prone to injury if we overdo it!

Here are some great tips from your chiropractor on gardening posture in order to avoid sore muscles, back strains and injuries.

Warm Up

Gardening is like any other exercise and it is important to warm up before you start, rather than going straight into heavy garden work. Have a 5-10 minute walk before you start, even on the spot, working to warm your muscles and joints up. Start with light jobs that need doing and gradually build up.

Posture: Bend Your Knees!

Lift carefully using your legs rather than your back to avoid strains, ensuring you bend your knees. Avoid twisting and always carry load close to your body. When digging also ensure you bend your knees utilising a lunge position lifting through your legs rather than your waist.

Take a Break

Give yourself and your back a break, the British Chiropractic Association recommends varying your activity by spending no more than 20-30 minutes on any one thing. Also ensure you drink fluids frequently.

Use the Right Tools

Let the gardening tools do the work for you so you’re putting less pressure on your body. Always stand as close to the work place as possible.
Secateurs – when pruning to avoid overreaching, long handled tools are perfect to reach plants or bushes.
Wheelbarrow – for very heavy objects in the garden utilise a large wheeled garden cart to avoid straining your back with lifting.

Work Positions

Squatting on your knees with the heels raised can put a lot of unnecessary extra pressure on your knee joints and ligaments when working. Preferred working positions are kneeling on a kneeling pad or sitting on a chair or stool, ensuring you are close to the area you are working so not straining your upper or lower back.

If you have a garden-related injury or would like further advice on gardening posture then book in for an appointment with your chiropractor today!


The British Chiropractic Association

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