At this time of the year, with the nights drawing in earlier – gardeners of all abilities will be aiming to tidy and clean the gardens whilst it is still dry.
Don’t prioritise your plants over your health! Read the tips below to keep safe when cleaning the garden and preparing for the winter months ahead.
Sweeping/Raking. Use a long-handled broom or rake to save you from bending. Sweep into piles spread out over the garden to split up the workload. Choose a lightweight broom to avoid unnecessary strain on your spine and arms.
Digging. Position the shovel parallel to your hips to avoid a twiting motion to your pelvis. Place one foot on the shovel to push into the ground whilst stabilizing yourself with the back foot. Leverage the shovel out of the ground by bending your knees and using the power of your legs.
Weeding. It is best to be at ground level rather than bend over. One option is to sit on a bucket or gardening stool. The other is the go down on one knee (like you are proposing), using a pad under the knee if uncomfortable. Always work directly in front of you rather than twisting to the side.
Mowing. Use the correct mower for your lawn. Avoid a swinging action with the mower; rather move in a forward direction.
Pruning. Use long handled loppers when appropriate. Avoid over reaching – try to work closer to your body.
Try some gentle stretches before gardening to ‘warm-up’ the muscles and ligaments. Also it is a good idea to use an ice pack on your lower back after.
One last tip is not to wait until the weekend to ‘blitz’ all the gardening jobs in one go. Plan the jobs that need doing and spread them out over a few days to lighten the strain on your back
Call Adam Kay Chiropractor on 07415 639046 or visit www.adamkaychiropractor.co.uk