Gardening is one of my favorite hobbies. It’s one of the only pastimes that combines healthy living and sustainability in one activity that’s fun to perform. Unfortunately, because it requires us to be physically active in order to participate, gardening can cause some serious injuries.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in 2010 alone, more than 35,000 Americans were injured while using a stepladder and over 40,000 additional people hurt themselves while gardening or using equipment related to gardening. However, when it comes to working in the yard, almost nothing causes problems like a lawnmower- in excess of 127,000 people were injured while using a lawnmower in 2010 alone.
If you want to ensure that you’re not pulling out your back in addition to your weeds, here are some chiropractor-approved tips for getting the most out of your garden without putting yourself in traction at the same time.
Weeding Without Worry
If you’ve had a garden for any length of time, you know how much time is spent just holding the weeds at bay. If you suffer from pain in your back, knees, or hips you can follow the suggestion of other long-term gardeners and drag a bucket or a stool outside to protect your back. You’ll also find that your back is more forgiving of this position if you take regular breaks for stretching.
You probably don’t think about your wheelbarrow as having a negative impact on your body. After all, it’s designed to help relieve your work, right? The answer is a resounding, “Kind of.” Any tool can cause injury if it’s not used properly, and your wheelbarrow is no exception. Remember to lift from underneath, taking care to place your hands in an underhanded position. After you straighten up, lean your body weight into the wheel barrow. These two tips will enable you to move from point A to point B without sacrificing your back along the way.
Digging Without Destruction
You can’t have a beautiful garden without doing some digging. However, if you want to break ground without breaking your back, you’ll need to learn how to use a shovel properly. The most important lesson in digging properly is to use your weight as leverage instead of your back muscles. Other concerns include keeping your body in alignment and using your whole body instead of your back and shoulders when dumping your shovel.
If you’ve never cared for a garden before then you don’t know what you’re missing. It’s a great activity that saves you money, improves the look of your home, provides you with free and fun exercise and when it’s all over, you’re rewarded with delicious foods that you can be proud of. Of course, any physical activity runs the risk of injury if not performed correctly, but if you follow your chiropractor’s tips for healthy gardening you’ll reduce your risk of harm while increasing your chances of success.
This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of The Joint Corp (or its franchisees and affiliates). You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.