Spring has sprung! As the days become longer and the weather warms up, we spend more time outdoors. Gardening can be a very therapeutic way to spend the day while also getting your yard in tip-top shape. It’s also a great form of exercise! As much as we don’t want weeds, we also don’t want any injuries. Dr. Harrison of Ideal Spine Health Center shares his tips for a pain free gardening experience.
Warm Up and Cool Down
Gardening requires a wide range of motion; kneeling, twisting, pulling, leaning, and lots of bending. It’s not surprise all that movement may leave your body sore.
Take time to stretch your body before tending to the yard to warm up your muscles. Your body will thank you – warm muscles are less likely to suffer muscle strain and injury. It can be as simple as a short walk around your neighborhood or doing a variety of stretching exercises.
Avoid working in one position for too long. Doing so can restrict mobility, reduce circulation and increase likelihood of injury. Instead, stand up and stretch every 30 minutes and take this time to hydrate. If taking a break doesn’t work for you, make sure you alternate between tasks. This will break up the repetitive motions that can cause muscle spasms and back pain.
Always Kneel, Don’t Bend
Repetitive bending movements put excessive strain on the ligaments in your back. Instead of bending from the waist, kneel on the ground. This will put you closer to the task at hand. If kneeling hurts your knees, invest in a kneeling pad. These are a great tool for added comfort and protection. When you stand up, focus on using your legs, not your torso. And if you must bend down, always keep your back straight and hinge at your hips.
Don’t let a green thumb lead to a sore back. Warming up, staying hydrated, and always being aware of your movements will greatly decrease your chances of injury so you can spend the rest of your spring days soaking up the sun. And if you do find yourself experiencing pain or discomfort, don’t hesitate to contact Ideal Spine Health Center. We offer a free consultation and exam to get you on the road to recovery.