Gardening for a healthy back

Man oh man is it nice out this weekend!  Everyone in my neighborhood is out mowing, weeding, planting and playing in the sun.  So what is the trick to keeping your back pain free while working in the yard?  I’ll tell ya.  Start with bringing some awareness to how you move.  Many of my clients have reported tight shoulders and low backs after a day spent working in the yard.  One client even herniated a disk while weeding!  Here are a few tips to keep your back healthy and happy this spring:

  • Check your posture. Are you hunching your shoulders and upper back?  Hiking or lifting one shoulder or one hip?  Imagine plumb line from your ear, shoulder, hip knee and ankle.  When you move try to bend at your knees, tighten your “corset” and hinge at your hips vs. rounding your back.
  • Don’t stay in one position too long. I have heard countless stories from my clients about kneeling or bending over for a long time and when they stand something in their back “pops”.  Set a timer on your watch or your phone if you need to to ensure you do not stay in one position too long.
  • Use the correct tools. From comfort handled spades, to kneeling pads and rolling carts get the right tool for the job and do what you can to make your work as economical as possible.

I hope you find these tips helpful.  I would love to hear what you are doing to keep your back healthy.