If you find yourself out amongst the trees and shrubs on a regular basis, then you are, like me, are likely to be an avid gardener. In a general sense gardening is a healthy past time; fresh air, good exercise, great for body and soul all round. But as with everything; too much of anything is a bad thing. With any repetitive work, stresses and strains can put excessive pressure on your muscles leading to back aches and pains. To avoid stress on your back it important to use your garden spades correctly and work your legs and knees to take the weight off your back.
Of course using tools properly is obvious but in practice it is never that simple. Generally when we’re out in the garden we find ourselves rushing to get a particular job done. Working without taking a rest can strain you back muscles and lead to short term back pain. Prolonged working in this way will lead to long term back problems. When working in a hurry you can also run to risk of pulling a muscle as you pull and yank at shrubs, roots and your garden spade.
When choosing or buying garden tools such as garden spades, hoes and pruners such as shears and loppers, it is important to select the right size tool. Your spade should be long enough so that you can dig planting holes, clear surface weeds and edge lawns and borders with having to bend your back excessively. Also remember that there is a different tool for every job; and when you’re rushing in the garden don’t try and use a spade to do a shovels job.
When buying tools make sure the tool is the right weight for you as well. There are so many tools out there and surely one to suit every gardener’s size and strength. When buying pruners you should hold the tool out in front of you and determine whether you feel you can use this tool over a number of hours without putting excessive strain on your back.
Gardening often involves lifting and moving heavy objects, when doing this make sure to life with your legs and not your back. Assess the weight before lifting and get help when needed. This is the most important way to keep your back well.
You can also prevent back pains when you are not in the garden; going to the gym and doing exercises to strengthen your back muscles is much recommended. If however your back pains persist it would be advisable to visit your GP.
In the mean time take it easy on your back and don’t try to do too much at once. All gardening should be enjoyed and never rushed. Let your legs and your spade do the work, and try to vary the work you do. There is no reason why you can’t enjoy your garden and having it looking in tip up shape while keeping fit, healthy and back straight and pain free.