Spring Time Tips for the Garden
by Dr. Brian S. Seaman, DC, FRCCSS(C), FICC
The gardening season is here again, and on most weekends people can hardly wait to get out to clean up the yard and work in the garden. Gardening and other jobs around the house such as painting fences and pushing lawnmowers can take their toll. Chiropractors treat many gardening enthusiasts who injure themselves every Summer and they offer the following advice before you start:
- Don't take on too much too soon. Start off with the little jobs and work yourself into condition.
- Gentle stretching exercises before, during and after stressful work activity are recommended.
- Do not remain bent or stooped for prolonged periods. That is a position your back is not used to,and it will tell you so!
- Wear proper clothing. Don't overdress or underdress for the weather.
- Use long-handled tools to save you from bending. Pushing or pulling while bent over can strain the shoulders and back.
- When weeding, get down on all fours, or kneel, using one knee at a time and changing frequently.
- When lifting or shovelling, use your legs to take the strain, NOT your back.
- Switch hands frequently while raking, hoeing or shovelling. This distributes the load evenly instead of putting all the effort on one side of the body.
- If joint or muscle soreness occurs, try rest and relaxation with an ice pack application for 15-20 minute intervals every 1-2 hours.
- For acute injuries or severe pain in the spine, see your chiropractor; don't be one of those people who suffers needlessly by telling themselves it will be better in a few days.