Gardening? Make sure you prevent injury on those sunny days

If you thought physiotherapy was just for people with sports injuries or those recovering from surgery, think again. PhysioNet Bristol’s directory will link you to expert chartered physiotherapists in Bristol, Bath, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire that can help with common issues such a back pain not just from sporting injuries but from every-day tasks. Keith James Physiotherapy, a partner clinic of PhysioNet Bristol discusses how to prevent back injury and to avoid feeling stiff when gardening this Spring.

The sun is out, and the garden is coming back to life! It’s tempting to get out there and really get stuck in to clearing and planting. But it’s important to take things slowly and remember to look after your back when crouching and bending. Back pain and problems affect people of all ages and can make gardening a painful experience. By following some simple rules, you can make gardening easier on your back and help you stretch your muscles and prevent any injuries or pain.

Warm up before starting to garden by gently stretching your muscles, especially if it’s cold outside and wait until later in the day when it’s warmer.  Some of the best stretches take an inspiration from Yoga which give a gentle but effective stretch to help prevent injury and stiffness in your back, lower or upper and your hamstrings.

  1. Cat stretch
    Get ready to embrace your inner cat. Begin on all fours on the floor and arch your back towards the ceiling and hold. Then arch your back towards the ground and hold. Hold each stretch for 5 seconds, repeat 10 times.
  2. Touch your toes
    Bend forward from your hips, dropping your arms down towards the floor and stretch as far as you can towards your toes. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds, are as long as you can.
  3. Hamstring stretches
    Begin by sitting on the floor with one leg straight, and the other bent towards your inner thigh. Keeping your back flat, lean forward from the hip to your out stretched leg until you feel stretch is behind the thigh on your hamstring. Repeat on the other leg. Hold each stretch for 10 seconds, repeat 5 times.

Some further notes

  • Avoid repetitive garden work
  • Alter your position regularly as you work, take regular breaks and drink plenty of liquid
  • Don’t lift heavy objects. If you must lift something, remember to bend your knees and keep your back straight
  • Use a wheelbarrow to move objects where possible
  • Wear belts that support your back if necessary

If you do find that your back is causing you problems, find a specialist back pain physiotherapist near you with PhysioNet Bristol’s handy postcode search to help treat your pain and prevent further injuries.