Gardening Needn’t be a Pain in Your Back!
With spring comes the desire for many of us to venture out into our great backyards to try our hand at landscape improvement. Changes may range from planting a few annuals in flower boxes to redesigning your entire yard. What ever your plan, you should know that more cases of back pain are caused by gardening than by running or even outdoor sports.
As with any physical activity, it is always best to let your legs and arms do the work, instead of your back. This will help reduce your chances of causing back pain and injury, strengthen your arms and legs, and make your gardening easier.
Before you start your gardening project, take time to warm up and give your spine the opportunity to be prepared for a workout.
In addition to a regular exercise regimen, these tips will help you avoid back pain when tackling your gardening project:
- Warm up with a brisk walk or light running to loosen your muscles and increase your musculoskeletal system’s flexibility.
- Know your strengths and limitations, and DON’T over exert!
- When weeding, get down on your hands and knees rather than bending and twisting at the waist. Don’t stand and bend over repeatedly.
- Keep your back straight when you stand up from a sitting or crouched position.
- Lift dirt and debris by letting your arms, legs, and thighs carry the load. Keep your back straight and bend your knees. Handle only manageable loads at a time.
- Use long-handled tools to keep from stooping while raking, hoeing, or digging. Repetitive motion on one side can bring on low back and shoulder spasms.
- Don’t work too long in one position, especially one that is awkward or unusual. This can cause muscle imbalance.
- Carry objects close to your body, so as not to risk straining your neck and lower back.
- Don’t over expose yourself to long periods in the sun without protection of the head and body.
- Take frequent breaks, and drink water to keep your body hydrated.
As always, your bet to avoid back pain is to exercise regularly, and to maintain good
posture throughout the year.
What Causes Subluxations?
Misaligned vertebrae are called subluxations. In most cases, you are totally unaware of a subluxation taking place. Babies are often subluxated at birth without the mother or the doctor being aware of it. The neck is twisted, forceps are used, and labor is difficult. These and other factors cause a newborn’s vertebrae to misalign.
A slap on the back, tripping on the edge of a carpet, practical jokes, slipping on an icy sidewalk, falling down steps or off a ladder, often cause discomfort for a short time and are dismissed as “nothing to worry about.” A subluxation has taken place-ignored-perhaps to show up months or even later as disease.
Less obvious subluxation causes are trauma, fear and drugs. Drugs causing depression of nerves, and fear and trauma causing tension- thus inviting vertebrae to misalign.
Car accidents cause a large portion of subluxations-including the so-called “fender benders.” The body is jarred and/or stressed to an extent where vertebrae subluxate.
NEVER dismiss any kind of accident-get it checked immediately by your chiropractor to prevent problems down the road.
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Royal Oak, MI 48073
Did You Know?
All chiropractors in Michigan must be licensed, but not all chiropractors are members o the Michigan Chiropractic Society (MCS).
The MCS requires member doctors to uphold their Code of Ethics, Practice Standards, and the Patient Bill of Rights. This sets MCS doctors apart. Member doctors agree to maintain the highest standards of the chiropractic profession; they take that extra step to provide you and your family with the best possible care.