Elderly woman planting flowers in garden outside

How to Avoid Back Pain When Gardening

Everyone loves to look at blooming flowers, growing trees, or even budding vegetables in their garden. But gardening is no easy task — it requires a great deal of bending, lifting, and kneeling. If not done properly and safely, it can also cause a significant amount of lower back pain.

3 Ways to Minimize Back Pain

1. Warm Up First

Depending on the activity, tending to your garden and doing yard work can burn anywhere from 200 to 600 calories an hour. Since it is always a good idea to stretch before a workout, it is smart to warm up before you begin gardening. Stretching is a great way to protect your spine because stiff muscles can cause joint mobility restrictions, leading to sprains and strains.

Gardening can be a lot of work on your body, so it is best to warm up your muscles and joints to prevent any injury.

2. Utilize Proper Lifting Techniques

If you are going to lift something heavy, it is crucial to lift it correctly to avoid injury. Items such as pots, bushes, bags of soil, shovels, and full watering cans can be heavier than you might imagine and can do significant damage to your spine.

To lift something properly:
Stand with a wide base of support.
Squat down at the hips and knees only.
Keeping good posture, lift slowly by first straightening your hips and knees [Not your back!].
Hold the object close to your body and keep it close to your center.

Eliminate any twisting or bending over if possible. Also, try to lift only light-weighted objects if you can to prevent any pain. Fill the watering can only halfway, using a wheelbarrow, and investing in a plant dolly will assist with carrying heavy items with ease.

3. Use Special Tools

Gardening isn’t all roses and can cause a lot of physical stress to your body. Luckily, there are a variety of tools to help you avoid any aches and pains.

Elevated garden beds are a great way to eliminate any bending or stooping motions while still allowing you to do what you love. Hanging flower pots are also an excellent option to remain upright and avoid back pain while tending to your blooming buds. Long-handled garden tools are also helpful to avoid unnecessary bending.

Other equipment such as rolling garden stools and padded kneelers with handles reduce the pressure gardening puts on your back by providing additional support to your spine and knees. The handles on the kneeler make getting up and down more manageable, and most kneelers also double as a seat.

COR Medical Centers Is Dedicated To Your Relief

Having a green thumb shouldn’t cause you any pain. But if it does, we are here to help. Let us help you get back to living your life. Schedule your appointment with us today!