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9 Gardening Tips To Protect Your Back – http://www.creekstonecare.com

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9 Gardening Tips To Protect Your Back


  1. Stretch – Protect your back by stretching sounds simple right? But, do you have any idea how many people around the world do not take a few minutes before performing manual labor? Is that not what gardening is? Of course it would count as manual labor. You are digging, lifting, pushing, pulling, and twisting. It only makes sense that you protect your back and muscles by doing some simple stretches before you begin all of that hard work. 
  2. Digging – When we talk about digging specifically, there is one big rule to follow to protect your back. Be sure to use your most valuable assett: your weight. Use your weight as leverage to move, push, and lift the dirt out. When you lean with your weight rather than trying to muscle the shovel, you will be in a better place physically at the end of the day and won’t necessarily have to go to the chiropractor the very next day. 
  3. DO NOT LIFT AND TWIST – Lifting and twisting at the same time is one of the worst things you can do to the discs in your back. When people come into the chiropractic office, bent to the side and unable to sit or get comfortable, many times it can be traced back to an instance where the patient was lifting and twisting simutaneously and now they are suffering from a disc problem. It’s not fun so, to avoid this, if you only remember one thing from this article, remember this: KEEP YOUR NOSE WITH YOUR TOES! When you are facing the same direction your feet are facing, you are usually in a good position. 
  4. Weeding – Yes, there is a best-technique for weeding. Here’s a little secret: use a bucket to sit on. A bucket or small stool will ssave your low back, hips, and knees. If a bucket is unavailbe, make sure you kneel rather than bend over. Always keep your back straight and fold at the hips rather than the waist when you bend over to get that weed. 
  5. Lifting Plants & Bags – The first rule here is that you are not He-Man or She-Woman. If it is too heavy for you, get help. Otherwise, your chiropractor will be on your to-do list. Next, make sure you are bending at the hips instead of the waist. This is vital. This subtle but important difference really helps you keep your back straight rather than bending in the wrong spot and doing some real damage to yourself. 
  6. Wheelbarrow Work – Try to picture dumping a wheelbarrow. The best way is to lift from underneath the handles using an underhanded grip. Make sure you are making use of the larger, more powerful muscles of the legs and pelvis. Once you have that wheelbarrow up, lean in with your body weight, using your weight as leverage, and empty it. Simple!
  7. Tools – God gave us all problem-solving skills for a reason. The reason was to make our lives easier. No matter what sort of job your have planned, it all comes down to having the right tools. Tools were invented to help us so get the right tools when you have a big job. For instance, if you have a large bed to till, you can do it by hand, or you can rent a big one that can knock out the job in about 10 minutes. You spend very little in order to protec your back and your sanity. Get the right tools for your job. 
  8. Raised Beds, Containers, & Narrow Beds – Many have never considered using these but, raised beds are easier to reach. You aren’t nearly as prone to having to visit your chiropractor when you are not leaning all the way down to the ground to work in the bed. The same goes with containers. You will not be forced to bend down nearly as far with container and, as an added bonus,  they can be moved around easily with a dolley. Winner, winner, chicken dinner! Why a narrow bed? Well, if you think about it, you will not have to reach as far back into a narrow flower bed as you have to with a wide flower bed. Everything you need to work on is more near to your body where you can kneel and easily take complete your tasks. 
  9. Breaks – Be sure you take frequent breaks to protect your back. This really should go without saying but, frequent breaks filled with plenty of water should get you through a tough day in the garden without too many ill-effects. 

We cannot begin to make claims that following our advice will prevent every ill that one can suffer from a long day of labor in the garden but, we feel confident that these tips can certainly help you avoid the injuries we commonly see here in our chiropractic office. 

Follow them and send us some pictures of your amazing work!

If for some reason you still have back, joint, or neck problems after a day in the garden and you need some help getting over them, be sure and call us here at Creek Stone Integrated Care at 806-355-3000 and we wil get you right in!

Happy Gardening, 

Jeff S. Williams, DC


Host of the Evidence-based Podcast, Chiropractic Forward


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