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Gardening Mistakes: Avoid these Common Causes of Back Injury

Gardening isn’t exactly a high-risk activity. But back injuries caused by weeding, digging, and other typical gardening tasks are common if people with green thumbs do not take the proper steps to avoid them. Here are the top activities to watch out for:

Bending From the Waist

Bending from the waist can put a strain on your spine, especially if you remain in or move in and out of this position for a long time. Being bent over can also throw off your balance, which may lead to injury from slips and stumbles. Plus, trying to lift something, pull a stubborn weed, or do any other task while bent over can put even more force and strain on the back. You want to avoid creating new pain and aggravating any chronic pains.  

Here’s what you can do instead:

  • If bending over, bend at the hips and knees and try to keep your back straight. 
  • Sit on a low stool or chair when working near the ground. 
  • If possible, bring your gardening activities up to you by performing them on a table. 
  • Avoid twisting to reach for something while bent over. If something is out of reach, turn your whole body toward it so it’s easier to reach.

Stomping on Your Shovel

Stomping on a long-handled shovel exposes your lower back to a short, intense, and uneven burst of force on your lower back and pelvis. If you need to dig into the dirt, use the entirety of your body weight to push your shovel into the ground.

Dragging Heavy Objects

Resist the urge to drag bags of soil or mulch, pull a too-heavy wheelbarrow, or lift anything that’s just too big for you to carry comfortably on your own. Ask someone for help or see if you can divvy up your gardening goods into smaller sizes. 

Not Taking Enough Rest

We know it’s easy to get into a gardening groove. But if you go for hours on end without taking adequate rest, you can easily strain the tissues in your back, and the fatigue you’ll feel can put you at risk for a painful injury. Always plan for regular breaks throughout your gardening chores that give you a chance to stand up, walk around, drink water, or even just sit and relax for a while. 

Is Your Green Thumb Giving You a Sore Back?

Our multidisciplinary team at Integrated Pain Solutions can alleviate your back pain and help you heal from injuries so you can get back to gardening and other things you love. Call 614-383-6450 to schedule a consultation today.

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