Pain-free gardening: Tips to prevent back pain while doing yard work. With the beginning of gardening season, I frequently hear this question from my patients. How do I do gardening without hurting myself.
Fortunately, there are a few simple things you can do to help reduce your risk:
1) I cannot tell you how many people I see pulling out weeds with their legs straight, bent all the way forward. As with any activity, good mechanics will save you lots of problems. If you are pulling out one weed, bend at the knees, and use your arm and leg strength to pull the weed. If you are pulling out many, or your knees will not allow you to squat, find a spot to sit on the ground so you don’t repetitively bend and lift your body weight.
2) Try sitting on something which lifts you off the ground a little, so your hips aren’t overflexed. I use a milk crate. Some people use a 5 gallon bucket or will even purchase a purpose-built low height rolling stool. I like these particularly, as they usually have a small tray underneath for carrying your gardening implements. The less stuff you have to pick up and move every time you relocate, the less you have to bend over, and the less likely you will be to hurt your back.
3) Don’t be a hero! I know you want to carry that 50-100 pound bag of mulch, and just get it over with. A better idea is to either use a wheel barrow, or if you don’t have one, open the bag and move smaller quantities at once. Again, a bucket is a great way to carry it, and the advantage is that you can then carry the bucket to the areas you need to mulch instead of hauling around a giant bag.
4) If you are clearing brush from your yard, use a set of shears to cut it down to a more manageable size. You would be shocked by the crazy body mechanics I have witnessed watching people try to accommodate the larger, irregularly shaped branches. Cutting them down to size will make it easier to manage, and perhaps even get them into a bag or wheel barrow to help get them across the yard.
5) Wear supportive shoes! I know it is getting warmer, and the temptation is to wear sandals or even to go barefoot while working in the garden. Even though it is relaxing, gardening is hard work, and can place a lot of strain on your feet. Supportive shoes will help your feet, and absorb some of the stress which would otherwise be transferred to your back.
6) Don’t try to do the entire garden in one stroke. Ok, it’s Saturday- the day you have set aside for gardening. Break the day up into smaller bits so you can give your back a rest. Use the breaks to re-hydrate, eat some nutritious food, or just to kick back and survey the fruits of your hard work.
These are just a few of the things you can do to help prevent gardening from wrecking your back. If you have any thoughts on keeping your back safe while doing yardwork, please send them in! I look forward to hearing about your experiences.
An alternative medical system that takes care of spinal health, chiropractic has become an increasingly popular treatment option for people who experience chronic pain in various areas of their body. If you are one of them, you might be wondering if it is the best way to solve your long-time battle with pain. The following are six reasons to convince you why opting for this alternative treatment system can be the best thing you will ever do for your health.
1. The treatment is safe. No actual data or study has proven that such alternative treatment is harmful to one's health in any way. This fact is interesting, considering that the procedure is practiced almost a million times in the United States every day. Rarely do complications occur in these cases. Since chiropractic services are non-invasive, it is easier to predict the possible response of a patient's body to this treatment compared to surgery and drugs. Thus, your risks are lower if you seek help from a chiropractor rather than resorting to surgical procedures and prescription drugs.
2. It is proven effective. A number of third-party and scientific studies have proven that the spinal manipulation therapy performed by chiropractors is effective and appropriate for a wide range of health issues. Some studies even show that such treatment works better for lower back pain than other alternatives available nowadays.
3. It is a low-cost treatment option. You can save more money if you receive treatment from a chiropractor instead of a physician. Studies have also proven the affordability of this alternative treatment, which is an advantage for patients with a limited budget.
4. A chiropractor is not just a "back doctor." A doctor specializing in spinal manipulation does not only help relieve back pain, but also give expert advice on a wide range of health concerns. These concerns include stress management, safety in the workplace, proper posture, and injury prevention.
5. The healing system is founded on established scientific principles. The treatment has a scientific basisâ€”it is not formulated from baseless assumptions. Thus, nobody can cast a doubt on its validity. This alternative medical practice zeroes in on the nervous system, which is the body's main control system, and its relationship with the spine. Any misalignment of the spine's joints results in pain, limited range of motion, and poor motor coordination, among others. These symptoms are what exactly a chiropractor helps improve by realigning the joints and reducing pressure within the muscles. After performing that, the body immediately reacts by relieving the pain.
6. Practitioners are considered main health care providers. Licensed in every provice of Canada, these specialists provide primary care services, just as osteopaths and medical doctors do. They are required to complete at least an undergraduate degree in that specific field. Their extensive knowledge allows these health care professionals to perform proper diagnosis and find solutions for spine disorders. So you can trust a chiropractor to provide you with a high level of health care based on your unique condition.
Posted by Dr. Babak Missaghi