‘Tis the Season for Back Aches – no, not winter! It’s the season to start the gardening. After a lengthy winter, this is the time of year when we start to put our bodies into awkward positions and movements that we haven’t used for a few months. Here are a few tips to help avoid injury:
- Gently do some stretches to loosen up your back. Laying on the bed or floor, bring your knees to your chest one at a time and hold the position for a few breaths.
- Do some gentle back bends before and after gardening. Don’t force your back to bend but slowly press backwards to feel a light stretch.
Take your time and work gradually
- Ease into the process.
- Don’t spend the entire first day gardening. Start with 5 minutes and then stand up and stretch. Do not garden for more than 15-20 minutes at a time on the first days.
- Give your body a chance to remember those muscles and movements that haven’t been used for a while
Watch your bends
- Do not bend from the waist. Bend from knees or use a stool to sit.
- Be cautious of how heavy the items are that you are lifting – again, bend from knees or use a trolley to move heavy items.
Once you are done, try a warm bath or shower to loosen up.
- Epsom salt baths are a good way to soothe sore muscles.
- Again, remember the stretches.
If you feel unusual tingling, soreness that does not subside, or numbness, stop what you are doing and be sure to seek medical attention.