Plant & Rake without the Ache
As a nation of garden lovers you may wish to consider some of the following tips before you race into the garden or down to the allotment to sort out some of those jobs that have been impossible to accomplish in recent weeks.
Gardening can be very rewarding, but when activities such as seeding, weeding, watering, digging and lifting are done the wrong way this can place strain and stress on our backs, particularly when our backs are held in unsound positions for long periods of time.
Taking care of your back now will allow you to enjoy the fruits of your labour for many years to come.
Bend Your Knees to lift with ease.
The good news is most injuries are preventable Here are some tried and tested rules for lifting with care, without hurting your back:
- Get Close to the Load. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, head up, feet and body pointing in the same direction. Pivot with your feet, don’t twist your body whilst carrying the load.
- Knees Bent, Back Straight: Check the weight of what you are lifting. Use your leg and arm muscles to smoothly and slowly lift.
- Easy Does It: Bend your knees and slowly lower the load to its intended place. Do not lift heavy objects above your waist. Avoid heavy lifting immediately after prolonged bending and kneeling.
The Right Moves.
Using the right moves can go a long way to enabling you to plant and rake without the ache. Positioning your body correctly reduces strain on muscles and joints:
- Alternate: Heavy, Light, Heavy, Light – this is the correct way to handle these jobs.
- Changing Hands: Take the strain off by changing the position of your hands
- Check Your Position: And change it often. Kneel then Stand or simply sit and relax for a while.
- Kneel to Plant: Use knee pads or a kneeling mat to reduce the strain whilst you plant and weed. Keep your back straight and stop frequently to take a break.
- Rake Right: Ease the strain on your back by putting one leg in front, the other behind. Switch legs and hands from time to time
The Right Tools:
Choose tools that ergonomically designed, are the correct tool for the job, have padded handles and spring action. Here are a few more tips:
- A hose is easier to manage than a watering can.
- A good wheelbarrow makes moving heavier loads a breeze.
- Separate a larger load into several small ones.
- Wear comfortable, thick soled, supportive shoes.
- Use ergonomically designed, long handled, lightweight tools.
It is easy to understand how back pain can arise from our pursuits in the garden , if we don’t undertake these activities in the right way. And not surprising that in general, about 80% of people experience low back pain at some stage in their lives. Aside from using the correct posture and tools, take frequent breaks and walk around and stretch, as staying in the same position for too long can contribute to a sore back later that night or the next morning.
Back or muscle pain that last longer than 48 hours is your body’s way of saying it needs help.
Shovel, Lift, Plant, Rake
You can do it without the ache ……………..
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If you have back pain, neck pain, sciatica, headaches, leg pain, shoulder pain we would love to help you. Give Dr Luke Mulvihill or Dr Danny Scahill a ring or email us. We are based in Crawley West Sussex UK.
We look at all aspects of your health and we have many blogs on diet and nutrition Do check these out Acid/Alkaline in your foods and how it is linked to Osteoporosis, protein in vegetables so you don’t have to eat so much meat, and another is on the eating healthily Pyramid and we have so many more for you to check out.
Also to have more education see this link on youtube Hungry for change
Thanks goes to the United Chiropractic Association for their helpful information.