Now that the summer heat has broken (the sun was powerful this summer), people are racing back to being outside for their lawn care and gardening. With Fall approaching, it has become safe again to be outside. As popular as these past times are, it can cause pain & problems: But how can you prevent back pain when doing lawn care & gardening?
It’s a common issue, something many people, especially those aged 40+ can suffer from. Lawn care & Gardening works a lot of muscles and joints, involves a wide range of motions (walking, standing, bending over, twisting, turning, crouching, leaning, reaching and lifting).
But just because we are 40+, this doesn’t mean that we should stop doing the things we love (or have to) – this is the time when we should enjoy these hobbies.
Prevent Back Pain During Lawn Care & Gardening By Warming Up
To help prevent back pain during lawn care & gardening while you improve your lawn and your garden, warm up first. Yes, it may sound surprising – after all you are not running a marathon per se (you may be spending the same amount time as running a marathon as you tend your own & garden) – but it’s important to mobilize and stretch your muscles before you start mowing, seeding, raking, digging and pruning.
It’s easy to think of gardening as something sedentary and relaxing, but in one session you will put your body through a full bodywork! And during lawn care, it’s even more strenuous. Bags of lawn seed and collected leaves are awkward and heavy.
Doing a warm-up will help you prevent back pain during lawn care and when gardening.
You’ll be using many different muscles and joints and it’s important to recognize that you need to prepare your body in the same way you would if you were about to go out for a bike ride or play tennis.
The first thing you should do before leaving the house and stepping onto the lawn or in the garden, isn’t getting your tools, but some mobilizations, stretching, and simple exercises to warm up your back, shoulders, arms and legs.
Do a simple routine to loosen up and prevent back pain. You should also do it when you have finished your work. When you perform these mobilizations, hold for 20 seconds as you gently breathe in & out during the entire ‘stretch’. Here are some mobilizations your should perform before and after…
Posterior Superficial Gluteals:
Then thigh muscles…
Next up, stretch your waist and core muscles by reaching your hands above your head. Feet hip distance apart, reach with your right hand up and over to the left as you bend your left side, then hold as directed. On each out-breath, stretch a little more, and on each in- breath release a little. Repeat on the opposite side.
Now stretch your shoulders and upper arms as directed, wile taking deep breaths, before repeating it on the other side.
Prevent Back Pain During Lawn Care And Gardening By Being Aware Of How You Bend And Lift
Whatever you are carrying or lifting, or moving from one place to another, it’s important to be aware of how you should lift and carry things while out in the yard… a high percentage of back pain is directly related to carrying something heavy!
And while bending over to do the lawn care and gardening groundwork, think about your body position.
Your starting position must be crouching, with your legs bent at the knees and your back straight.
Ensure you carry heavier items low down and pressed against your body so that there is less leverage on your back. A better solution, get and utilize a wagon or wheelbarrow to help you transport heavy items.
While tending to your lawn, don’t crouch or bend over, as it will force your spine into an unnatural position; instead aim to kneel down. You can use a gardening mat to kneel on. Have one knee down on the ground and the other raised up, and switch sides regularly to alleviate any pressure.
How about this slice of common sense: If something you are lifting (a watering can or bag of garden waste perhaps?) is heavy, then fill it up halfway and do multiple trips rather than risk straining your back.
Specialized Gardening Tools Can Help You Prevent Back Pain During Lawn Care and Gardening
You can prevent back pain while gardening by using specialist tools. They are designed to ease the strain on your back and joints.
Wheelbarrows are designed to make loading and unloading leaves, mulch, and garden waste much easier, and enable you to transport your hanging baskets and plant pots more safely.
Long-handled tools can make weeding, trimming, and cutting much easier on your back, avoiding the need to stretch or bend over repeatedly.
Many people now use garden kneelers, often designed with special handles to assist you when getting up and down. Some of them even convert into low stools as well which eliminates the need to crouch or bend down.
Take Regular Breaks And Stretch To Prevent Back Pain During Lawn Care and Gardening
We all want a ‘beverage’ break every now and again – after all, it’s a way of life! So, it’s important to take regular breaks if you want to prevent back pain during and after lawn care & gardening. It’s easy to get carried away, time passes by without you realizing, when you are so immersed in making your lawn & garden the envy of your neighbors that you forget to take a rest.
A good idea is to set a timer on your phone to take a break every 30 mins. Enjoy your cup of tea and walk around to see the improvements!
And once you’ve finished for the day, take 10 minutes to stretch the muscles in your neck, shoulders, arms, back, and legs. Proper stretching after any strenuous physical activity is proven to help muscles recover and repair.
Fastest Way To Prevent Back Pain During Lawn Care and Gardening
First be proactive!
Are you are fed up with lower back pain wrecking your plans…
And, it is preventing you from doing the things you really love to do…
And, having injections, taking medications, or resorting to surgery is far from the answer you are looking for…
If this sounds like you, you need to feel anxious about your low back pain. Now is the time to get the support & help you really need. Our team of specialists are here to help you!
At PEAK Physical Therapy, we have helped thousands of patients, and helped hundreds of people just like you who are experiencing daily lower back pain and unable to move freely.
If you want a thorough evaluation, personalized advice, tailored treatment and regain your life, then schedule an appointment with us. We have 2 convenient locations to serve your physical therapy needs: McLaws Circle & Michael Commons.
Don’t delay, appointments times are limited.
Our mission at PEAK Physical Therapy is to make people better! Actually, more better! Every day, we treat individuals, just like you. From people who just woke up with pain recently all the way to those who have been battling with pain for a very, very long time. You don’t have to suffer.
Whether you need help with a diagnosis, functional medical advice, or want a second, third or more functional medical opinion, remember we are always here to help you.
If you want to live an Active, Independent, Dynamic, & Enjoyable Life without low back pain – Choose PEAK Physical Therapy.
We’re here to help with your pain…
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