As the warm weather finally arrives and gardening season starts to bloom, green thumbs across Ontario will kneel, plant, lift, twist, seed and weed to get their gardens ready to grow. As a result, chiropractors tend to see more back injuries from poor positioning and lifting during springtime gardening.
Improper gardening techniques can cause repetitive strain injuries of the wrist and elbow, and cause wear and tear on joints and muscles throughout the body, especially the lower back.
As part of the Plant and Rake Without the Ache education campaign, the Ontario Chiropractic Association has the following tips for gardeners to help avoid unnecessary backyard back injuries this spring:
- Warm Up – Gardening is hard work! Make sure you stretch your thighs, shoulders, sides, arms, back and hamstrings before you start to get the most out of your gardening.
- Alternate – Switch from heavy tasks to light ones, and change your hands and positions frequently.
- Lift Light and Right – Always bend with your knees and keep a straight back. Carry the load close to your body.
- Kneel to Plant – Knee pads or a kneeling mat can help to ease the strain on your back while you plant and weed your garden. Keep a straight back and stop when you need to have a break.
- Rake Right – Put one leg in front and another behind when you rake, and alternate on occasion to minimize the back strain.
The Ontario Chiropractic Association is offering my readers a chance to win a Plant and Rake Without the Ache Tool Kit!
Valued at $100 it contains a garden tool bag filled with tools, a knee pad, water bottle and an assortment of seeds to help your garden grow!