The other day I was on the phone with one of my regular patients, Jill.
She’s aged 53, and from the Fens, and said: “I was making the most of the lovely weather the other day by getting out in the garden.
“I was fine to begin with, but after a few hours my back began to stiffen up.
“At first I thought ‘oh it’s just a stiff back, I’ve probably overdone it, it’s happened before’, but a few days later the pain was still there, and it’s still bothering me.
“My back aches when I’m sitting down, and I’m finding it a struggle to even put on my shoes. That’s the last thing I need.”
Now, this isn’t uncommon - especially NOT after a bank holiday weekend!
And when you consider that 77 per cent of people say that they enjoy a spot of gardening, that’s a lot of backs that could potentially become sore! (And who can blame them - gardening has a great mental health impact! It’s even been said to boost your mood and reduces stress).
The thing is, many people will put up with a bad back for days, even weeks, hoping that the pain will go away on it’s own, but you really don’t have to.
So, how about I give you three ideas for exercises to help you make back pain much less of a permanent fixture in your life?
And even if you don’t have a garden, or you don’t enjoy planting pots, these daily stretches will still be beneficial to you in helping to ease and prevent lower back pain.
When you’re gardening, do it on your hands and knees, to take the pressure off your back.
This is much better than bending at the waist, or even working from a seated position, as it reduces the risk of back pain springing upon you.
Take a 20-minute break by putting the kettle on and relaxing with a brew. Sit back in the sunshine and admire your work. Your body will thank you for it!
And remember, there’s never a need to do too much too soon.
If you start to feel any signs of pain, walk, stretch and rest your back.
And here’s a simple exercise for you.
All you’ve got to do is lay on your back, keeping your legs straight, bring one leg upwards toward your body and place both hands on the back of your thigh. Keeping your leg as straight as possible, pull your leg in slowly towards your body.
Hold this stretch for 10 seconds, and repeat on the opposite leg. You can perform this stretch up to four times on each leg.
Like I said, this goes for any activity, not just gardening! You could be doing housework, DIY, whatever. If you start using these tips, you’ll be keeping your back safe.
For more tips on easing back pain, please go to my HERE, to ease your aches without needing pills or talking to a doctor.