Gardening Without Back Pain
Now that it’s finally springtime, it means time to get in the garden and make your yard the best on the block! For those who are suffering from chronic back pain this may be something you love, yet dread at the same time. You may not want to further aggravate your back and add to the pain you are already dealing with, but luckily our team at Movement Concepts Physical Therapy in Garden City can get you properly prepared for gardening this spring by sharing some tips on how you can make gardening pain free for your back!
1.) Warm up
- Taking a walk before you start gardening is a good way to warm your body up and prevent injury.
2.) Lift carefully
- With gardening comes heavy plants, pots, and watering cans. If you lift these things up incorrectly or too quickly you may further damage your back. To lift these heavy objects correctly: begin by squatting, do not bend at your waist, use two hands to hold the object while keeping it close to your body, then slowly straighten your legs as you lift.
- As an alternative to giving your back a break, use a wagon to transport heavy items from place to place.
- Fill large watering cans halfway, or use hoses or automated irrigation systems in order to lessen the toll on your back.
3.) Use long-handled tools
- These can eliminate the bending that is done while planting and weeding.
4.) Take breaks
- If you have been in one position for a long period of time, take a break to do some stretches to prevent stiffness and cramping.
5.) Get support from kneelers and chairs
- Kneelers make getting up and down a lot easier, they include a well-cushioned base which helps reduce stress and impact on your knees and back.
At Movement Concepts Physical Therapy in Garden City, we will teach you back strengthening exercises in order to prevent back pain the next time you are gardening. Here are some basic exercises you can try at home:
- Knee to chest
- Lie flat on your back with toes pointed to the sky. Slowly bend your right knee and wrap your hands around your thigh, knee, or shin. Then gently pull your knee towards your chest.
- Lying knee twist
- Lie on your back with your legs laying straight out. Bend the right knee up and cross it over the opposite side of your body. Hold the position for 20 seconds making sure you feel a gentle stretch through the back and buttocks muscles.
- Cat/Cow stretch
- Kneel on all fours with your hands beneath your shoulders and your knees directly below your hips. When you exhale gently arch your spine, then while you inhale, tighten your core muscles and round your back.
Besides these gardening tips and back exercises mentioned, if you are still suffering from back pain or you were looking to learn more about how to prevent back pain, click here to make an appointment for physical therapy in Garden City with our qualified and knowledgeable staff!