Why does spring tend to bring about the re-occurrence of back ache and pain?
At this time of year spring ‘springs’ and the garden just cries out for attention post winter. With our busy schedules we have little time to ‘make-over’ the garden ready for the onslaught of BBQ’s/ alfresco suppers. So off we dash, barrow and tools in hand to take control of the ever increasing forest of weeds, the lawn that suddenly appears field like and the pruning…the remaining time we spend pressure washing the patio only to end up stuck in one position or hobbling around in agony- sound familiar? You’re not alone!
What a man needs in gardening is a cast-iron back, with a hinge in it. ~Charles Dudley Warner, My Summer in a Garden, 1871
Even in 1871 the Gardeners-Back was rearing its head!
Tips To Prevent & Cure Back Pain For Gardeners
There are many things that will help, but the first is to remember that the reason we get the back aches/ pain in the first instance is due to the fact we do not regularly use these specific muscles, and sadly it’s the old cliché of ‘use it or lose it!’ Although you may feel fit as a fiddle if you’ve not regularly used those muscles, they will grumble and let you know it!
Of course a Maga Therapy treatment will help get you back to your loose self, the incorporation of stretching before AND after getting out there will make a huge difference, but in the meantime:
Top tips to avoid back pain….
Injury Free Gardening.
Gardening can be particularly hazardous, to help avoid injury use raised beds or kneel to work at ground level to prevent stooping. One of the easiest ways to is to sit on a bucket while doing low to ground work instead of stooping or bending, but remember to distribute your weight evenly, and sit with your legs shoulder width apart.
If you are on the ground a kneeler or knee pads will really help to prevent sore knees.
Stretch Before You Start!
I always advise simple stretching before starting any physical work such as digging. Simple back, hip, shoulder and neck stretches will take a few mins, but could save you days! Its that simple. As gardeners we all know two things, the weather always works in favour of the plants and if the back ‘goes’ so does control of the back-lawn and beds! Read More About Stretching Here…..
Try adapted garden tools there are available to help you with tasks such as weeding.
Remember, if the weather is windy, take care. If your muscles get cold you are more likely to injure yourself.
A Tip For Your Back
Remember to try to keep a hollow back as you dig. Bend your knees rather than your back. Do a little at a time and if you get a twinge of pain, STOP, it is ‘the’ warning shot!
Is Your Digging Style Good?
You should stand so that you’re facing the area you’re digging, with the hole you are filling beside you rather than in front of you. Push the spade into the ground as usual, then pull back on the handle. Using the lip of the cut as a hinge, lever the spade of earth free, then simply roll it sideways off the blade into the trench you’re filling.
Many clients report that the greatest danger when gardening is if they stay in the same position too long –therefore it is vital that you vary your tasks.
When you have finished the work stretching and a long soak in the bath are equally vital!