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April Showers, Bring May Flowers

May 12, 2015

From CMC Physical Therapy
http://www.cayugamed.org/PThome.cfm

It’s that time of year again when many of us are getting excited about working in our gardens. Gardening can be therapeutic for many people; however it can also be rather taxing on the body.  Here are some helpful gardening tips to help prevent low back pain.

The first time you get into the garden for the season your muscles and joints might be sore the next day or two. If soreness doesn’t subside after a few days or it prevents you from doing other activities, you should consult a physical therapist.

   
When shoveling or working up the soil, it is important to be aware that you are using proper body mechanics.  Make sure that you use your legs to help you lift things and be careful to avoid any combined lifting and twisting.  If you are shoveling and moving dirt, avoid twisting by moving your feet in order to relocate the dirt.


When weeding the garden, try to use a gardening pad so that you can kneel down and be closer to the work that you are doing. This will be less stressful on your back versus standing and bending over to pull weeds. Try to weed the area in front of you and avoid extreme reaching and/or other awkward movements that may put additional stress on your spine.  Keep the work close to you. The closer your “work” is to you, the less stress there will be on your back.


Try to avoid staying in one position for more than 15 minutes at a time. It is important to change your body positions frequently and to take frequent rest breaks from the task that you are performing. Simply step away from the garden for a short period of time to go for a walk, grab some water, or to just sit down and rest for a bit.
So while you are outside soaking up this beautiful sunshine and planting all those flowers and vegetables,  keep these tips in mind to hopefully help you prevent any injury.

 

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