Gardening can be quite challenging, as it oftentimes requires repetitive or prolonged bending, pushing, pulling and reaching.  So, what if you’ve already been struggling with back pain?  You may be thinking, “I really need to do some weeding, but my back is going to kill me!”  The good news is once you use some of the following helpful tips, you should be able to garden successfully with minimal to no increased pain. Here are some gardening tips and tricks.

First of all, it’s important that you warm up your body.  Think of gardening like playing football.  A football player certainly doesn’t start playing in a game without first warming-up his body.  Consider going for a walk and doing some stretching prior to heading out into the garden.

Try the following modifications:

  • When working on the ground, consider getting down on one knee or all fours instead of bending at the waist. Use a gardener’s mat or kneepads to protect your knees.
  • Try not to reach too far out in front or to the side of you. This might strain your lower and upper back.  Rather, move your body closer to what you need to reach.
  • Use a cart made for gardening, allowing you to scoot around the garden.
  • Use a power lift, deep squat or golfers lift when reaching to the ground. Don’t bend forward from the waist.
  • Use a step stool, or a 5-gallon pail turned upside down to sit on while weeding, planting, etc.
  • Take breaks!
  • Stay hydrated!

When you’re done for the day, remember to think like a football player.  Just as he gets roughed-up on the field, you may feel a little sore after gardening, especially the next day.  Take some time to do a few stretches afterwards.  Put ice on your sore area for 15 minutes.  It’s Ok to have some mild soreness later in the day or the next day – that’s quite normal!  It’s likely your legs will be sore, too.  If so, that’s a good sign that you used good body mechanics and gave your leg muscles a workout.  Do a few more stretches and you should be set! Following these Gardening Tips and Tricks will help you stay busy during summer seasons.

For other info and tips, please see other blogs here.