Gardening for Your Health - Protect your Back

Gardening can be an amazing and rewarding experience. It offers a combination of fresh air, hard work and low impact physical activity that can be very satisfying. Gardening can be meditative and restorative, while also achieving a beautiful end goal.

For some gardeners, while still rewarding, it can take a toll on their back. Similar to any activity, if you experience back pain, getting evaluated by a healthcare professional is a good first step. There may be stretches, exercises or other treatments that can reduce or eliminate your back pain.

Stretching prior to getting outside is a great idea. Gardening is a lot of bending and sustained holds, warming up those muscles is a great way to avoid or minimize pain or soreness. If you experience pain with any of these stretches, seek medical attention before continuing.

Here are a few quick warm-up stretches for your pre-gardening routine.

  • Forward fold and reach down to your toes (sometimes it’s nice to gently swing from side-to-side creating a little traction in the spine). Slowly roll up, one vertebrae at a time until you are standing. Reach your hands overhead and stretch to the sky (again, gently swaying your arms side-to-side may feel good).

  • Lying on your back, hug your knees into your chest. Slowly rock side-to-side, gently massaging the lower back.

  • Continue lying on your back with knees to chest, slowly lower your knees to one side and turn head in the opposite direction. Repeat on the other side.

Gardening should be an enjoyable, pain-free experience. Remember to take stretch breaks periodically and stay hydrated! As always, if you are experiencing pain or discomfortable, we are here to help. Our collaborative approach can get you feeling your best!