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  • Writer's pictureLori Goodsell

Back Pain from Gardening

Updated: May 18, 2023

old man doing vegetable gardening

To avoid back pain from gardening, I recommend several simple tips. We are all tempted when we look outside just to get ‘er done. One project, always leads to the next and if you over do the gardening, I can assure you, you will have back pain.

1) Break your job out into 60 minute chunks. Then take a break or change tasks. A 5 hour marathon weekend gardening session is going to cause back pain.

2) My neighbors will tell you that I have hired nearly every kid in the neighborhood to help me with gardening. Despite what people think about kids "these days", many of them love working, making money and helping people. My eleven year old neighbor took two car fulls of huge rocks and made a border for me last month. He was happy with the $10 an hour I paid him and it only took him four hours. (Where else can you make $10/hr at 11?) My back didn’t hurt for two weeks like the last time I did something that stupid. The best part about it was getting an opportunity to bond with my neighbor kid.

3) Vary your tasks. Two hours bent over at the waist pulling tall weeds, is predictably going to be a problem. Change it up. Do some squatting, digging, bending, pulling so that you vary your tasks.

4) When you finish, don’t go flop on the couch in a heap of exhaustion. Do some stretches, have your lunch and then take the dog on a short walk to limber up. Doing these things will help you activate your muscles again, re-normalize your movement patterns and loosen up.

If you follow these tips and remember to stretch afterwards, you will avoid a lot of the back pain from gardening that is common in the spring. I always end with this: if you hurt, call my Plymouth Chiropractic Office. I can help you. You can also book online if you are in a rush to get in.

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