Although you may not have thought of gardening as a sport by definition, it does take physical exertion and some basic skills to participate. There is even a team mentality in community gardens. As we learn more about the dangers of pesticides and genetically modified foods, the popularity of gardening is again on the rise, with 35% of all households in America growing their own food. Not only is there comfort in knowing that your food is safe, there is much pride in cooking from garden to table.
In addition to food gardens, landscaping is another project that is taken on every year to make our homes more attractive and so we can enjoy the beauty of flowers in bloom. Whatever your style, you should look to a garden session in the same way that you would look at participating in a sport that you do not play daily.
Low back pain is a common complaint from gardeners, both large and small scale. ‘A sprain, also known as a torn ligament, is damage to one or more ligaments in a joint, often caused by trauma or the joint being taken beyond its functional range of motion.’ The most accurate way to diagnose a spinal ligament condition is with a simple, yet cost effective, x-ray test. The most utilized treatment for spinal ligament problems is a series of adjustments to realign and stabilize the spine.
While working outdoors, we often push ourselves beyond our normal limits because it is not constant strenuous activity. Proper precautions should be taken to ensure that you do not overdo it. Before you begin, you should warm up and stretch your muscles to avoid injury. Yoga is a very good tool for this and can be incorporated by most anyone. A few basic yoga exercises can be found here. In addition, you should know your limits of what you can carry and lift. It may seem like carrying a few bags of mulch or soil is not a big deal, but if you are not used to it, you can easily injure your low back. You should also use good lifting techniques, such as bending at the hips and knees only.
These tips are very important, but do not overlook some of the less obvious. It is very important to change position often, take your time (gardening is supposed to be relaxing), and stay hydrated. Not only are you physically exerting yourself, you are outdoors in the warm temperatures and sun. If you have noticed that you experience more back pain in the warmer months, dehydration may play a part.
Most importantly, if you are experiencing back pain, call our office to discuss your condition and find out how chiropractic can help!