FEELING GREAT: How to ‘weed out’ back pain problems when gardening
Spring is a very popular time to start that prep work on the lawn and flowerbeds ready for bloom!
But it’s important that you are ready for the work not only on the plants, but also the work on your joints.
In the same way that the sun will send people to the beer gardens for hours on end, it will also send people to their own gardens and allotments for just the same length of time.
And here’s the real problem with that: gardening means you usually have to lean over or bend forwards for long periods of time (that’s obvious, yes I know).
But even something as simple as pushing a lawnmower means you’re leaning just slightly forward, which isn’t good for your lower back. The issue here is that in this position, your spine and the muscles surrounding it are in their most vulnerable position.
That means they could get damaged at any time (more so than when you’re sitting, too). In fact, there is almost a third more pressure on your lower back when you’re in this “leaning forward” position than when in any other.
That’s something to be wary of even when you’re in the kitchen cooking your favourite meal. Think about it and be aware of the position you are in at the time and I’m sure you will soon realise!
Spending time repetitively leaning forward is also the reason why I’ve had so many people visit my physio clinic for back pain that came on suddenly just from something as really routine as leaning over the sink to brush their teeth.
It might sound a really innocuous and a simple activity, but leaning forward constantly is not healthy and makes you prone to these types of problems throughout your life, especially as you get older and start to feel those aches and pains more and more.
Strengthening your lower back muscles is the most effective way to avoid regular back pain, and the exercise routines you would find in any good Pilates class are able to help combat this.
So as well as your gardening and cookery books, I’ve something else for you to read - my book The Healthy Habit.