In the first part of our article “No Back Pain, Can You Dig It?: Gardening tips to avoid straining your back – PART 1” we talked about KEEPING IT CLOSE!, the first golden rule of safe gardening and why its important to “keep tools, plants, and loads close to you: The less reaching you have to do away from your body (standing, sitting or lifting) the less strain you will be putting on your back.”
In this second part we’ll discuss and demonstrate proper lifting and using your core.
- LIFT WITH YOUR LEGS AND CORE! When lifting, squat with your hips back, knees behind toes, and core engaged to keep your back straight. If the load is heavier than you can lift with good form, ask for help!
- ABOVE ALL, ENGAGE YOUR CORE! When lifting, bending or doing just about anything in the garden, knowing how to properly engage your core muscles can make a big difference in reducing back pain with everyday activities. “Core muscles” include abdominal muscles, glut muscles and even the muscles along your spine. Working with a Physical Therapist can be very helpful for understanding how these muscles work, and learning how to engage them properly in your daily activities. Here at Paradigm Physical Therapy, we use an individualized approach to not only strengthen these muscles, but also ensure that you are able to recruit them in functional activities and reduce the chance of injury.
Following these tips can help you enjoy your garden without the regrettable side of back pain. We at Paradigm wish you a happy summer!