Tips for Gardening With Back Pain

Posted on Jul 11th 2022

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Tips for Gardening With Back Pain

There are many wonderful reasons to garden. Studies have shown over and over again the physical and emotional benefits of being outdoors, and gardeners report having increased energy, optimism, and joy. Unfortunately, gardening can also lead to increased pain, especially in our backs.

At Chronic Care of Richmond, we understand how important it is to be able to do the activities you love without pain. If you love to garden, but your activity is limited or restricted by your back, check out our tips to learn how to manage and prevent back pain while gardening.

Start With a Warm-up


Warm up your muscles before gardening to prevent injury. Gardening involves lots of repetitive motion, so stretching and preparing your body before you work will go a long way to preventing injury. Consider a short, brisk walk to help warm your muscles, and take some time to stretch. Focus on stretches that target your neck, shoulders and back.

Try a New Garden Structure


The structure of your garden can impact the overall health of your body. If possible, consider developing a wall garden or vertical garden, or raise your plant beds. Even raising your plants a few feet will help! If these changes aren’t possible for you, don’t worry. You can still create an incredible outdoor space without injury.

Gardeningn structures are a great way to prevent too much leaning and strain on your back.

Lift With Support


Regardless of where your plants are, it is essential to lift with support. To lift without straining your back, be as close as possible to the object you are lifting and lift from a squat. Try not to bend your waist. You can minimize the distance you need to lift by utilizing wagons, dollys, or other tools.

Lousy lifting technique is not the only gardening movement that can cause pain in your back. Gardening can also lead to lots of twisting. You can minimize the amount of repetitive twisting you do in your garden with the use of a garden scooter. These scooters come in a wide range of sizes for virtually any gardening space. Consider using other equipment that eases the strain on your body, like knee pads, kneelers, or chairs.

Time vs. Tasks


It’s tempting to plan out your gardening based on tasks that need to be done, but some tasks take longer than others. Prevent pain and injury while gardening by working for a set amount of time instead. Try working for half an hour, then take a break. Stretch, get some water and give your body time to rest before returning to work.

Balancing time and tasks will help prevent strain on your back.

Monitor the kinds of tasks you do, and avoid too much of the same movement in one day. For instance, you might consider weeding one section of your flower beds instead of weeding the whole yard in a single afternoon and alternate with pruning. Using ergonomically friendly gardening tools can also help make this work easier on your body. Or, hire professionals to handle specific tasks that aggravate your back more, like weeding, and save the more enjoyable tasks for yourself.

Get Help for Chronic Pain


Even with careful prevention, you may still suffer from pain after gardening. Here at Chronic Care of Richmond, we know how important it is for you to be able to do activities you enjoy, and we’re here to help. We all have back pain now and then, but there is no need to live with chronic pain. We are proud to provide non–surgical, non–invasive intervention treatments that provide long–term, effective results for our clients. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about how we can support your healing.