osteopathy & gardening

Our Osteopath’s tips for pain free gardening

Summer is here, well almost, we have seen the sun shine and Easter has passed us. With more bank holiday’s on the horizon and a promise of an endless supply of fresh summer salad leaves it’s time to get on the gardening gloves, increase our Vitamin D levels and dig around the Dahlias.

But first, just make a note of our tips to make your gardening experience more comfortable and reduce the risk of post-garden niggles.

  1. Always remember to warm up before you start wielding the garden fork. It may surprise you that gardening is exercise. Just a few simple stretches before and after your day in the garden will make all the difference. And to prevent further stiffness, enjoy a lovely hot bath to ease away any post garden aches.
  2. Pace yourself, it may be tempting to try and get everything done in your one day off, especially if the sun is shining, but this is more likely to bring on an injury and not only will your garden suffer in the long term, you and your back will. Ease your way into gardening as you would any exercise.
  3. Vary your activity – don’t spend all day digging and not expect to feel pain. Try and move around the garden, take breaks and do a variety of jobs for short bursts of time, be kind to your back. And always use the right tools to limit the time you are bent over.
  4. Lift Correctly – don’t take any short cuts with lifting, this is the biggest cause of back injury for gardeners. Lift with bent knees and a straight back. Get help with any heavier or awkward objects. Avoid having to move large piles of cuttings back and forth to the compost heap, much better to clear as you go and reduce any chance of future back pain.
  5. Listen to your back, if your back is in any distress at all, it is advisable to STOP immediately and not to plough on through the weeds. Pain is your body’s way of telling you to go easy, it’s vulnerable and needs to be heard. Hampton Court Flower Shower can wait.

If you follow these simple steps you can not only sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labour, pain free, you will be able to relax and enjoy the garden with that promised G&T.

However, if you have experienced any form of post garden pain for more than 4 days it might be a good idea to seek advice and help from an osteopath before you go wild with the weeding again.

Exeter Osteopathy & Physiotherapy, 19 Fore Street, Topsham EX3 OHE

Tel 01392 875 770