Few things are more relaxing and emotionally fulfilling than gardening, yet a bad back can be a painful distraction that can all but ruin it. Thankfully there are a number of simple techniques that can minimize or even remove the risk of back pain and ensure that you needn't give up gardening because of your back. Try these tips and see if they work for you:
Do Stretching Exercises
A common cause of back pain is when muscles are moved too suddenly at the beginning of work. Before you start gardening be sure to do some simple stretching exercises that will make your muscles limber and less prone to strain.
Another all too common cause of back pain is over exerting yourself. Take your time, and if you feel the twinges of pain coming on then rest immediately. You will often find that the pain subsides quickly and you can return to work. "Easy Does It" should be your gardening motto!
Many gardening activities that are harmless by themselves may result in back pain if done over and over again. Therefore mix up your gardening routine and avoid doing too much of one thing for too long. For example, when weeding pause to do a little watering in order to break the repetitive cycle of doing the same thing without a pause.
This may seem obvious, but you'd be surprised how often gardeners with bad backs try lifting heavy objects when they really should know better. If you must risk lifting be sure to bend your knees and to use tools such as a wheelbarrow. Ideally you should just wait to do your lifting chores until someone else is around who doesn't have a back problem and have them do the lifting for you. Pay them if you have to.
Use the Right Tools
A lot of the physical strain of gardening can be relieved with the proper tools. Tools that have long handles and extensions make it less necessary to stretch in potentially painful ways. Making sure the blades are sharp on your tools further reduces effort. Wearing a holster with the most commonly used tools attached to your shoulder or waist will prevent the need to bend over to get them out of a toolbox.
Choose the Right Plants
What kinds of plants you grow in your garden can make a difference in how much care and effort you have to exert to keep them healthy. Slow growing plants require less frequent care, while potted plants can be placed where it is easy and convenient to reach them.
With just a little creativity you can truly practice rewarding and pain free gardening.
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