How to Avoid Back Injuries While Gardening

flower-bed-1527155-1280x960Now that spring has arrived, you’re probably going to start doing yard work and gardening. Even if your back feels strong, a small misalignment can cause major problems when doing something simple like raking or lifting. Luckily, there are measures you can take to avoid pain and injury while working in the yard this spring.

  1. Drink water! One of the main causes of muscle spasms is dehydration. Ensuring that your body is properly hydrated will prevent cramps and spasms.  Every chemical reaction that takes place in the body requires water; especially those reactions that help provide energy and muscle contractions.
  1. Warm up! Yes, we said it! Gardening may not seem like exercise but it is.  While gardening we perform various movements like pulling, reaching, twisting, lifting, digging, kneeling and squatting. All of these activities have the potential to cause an injury. Staying limber will help prevent injuries, especially if gardening for multiple hours. It only takes a few minutes. Move around and stretch before getting to work.
  1. Vary your tasks! Most back and spine injuries start from repetitive motions that can cause wear and tear on the muscles, ligaments and tendons that stabilize the spine. Mix up your gardening tasks and do not continuously perform the same task for an extended period of time.
  1. Protect your lower back! When you’re going to lift an object, don’t just use your back muscles. Use your legs – bend your knees like you’re going to sit in a chair. That removes strain from your spine that could set off a back injury. When changing positions, use your arm strength to move around to avoid putting all of the strain on your back and torso.

Unfortunately, even the most careful, fit gardeners can injure themselves. If you experience pain or difficulty moving for more than a day after gardening or working in the yard, or if these problems are preventing you from gardening or working in the yard, you may have instabilities in your spine. At OWL Chiropractic, we use cutting-edge technology to evaluate your spine and target the root of the problem. Don’t let pain prevent you from doing the things you love! Call us today at (717) 517-8195 to schedule an initial visit. The cost of new patient visits is just $25, all of which we donate directly to the Lancaster County SPCA.

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