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Natural Awakenings Greater Boston - Rhode Island

Prevent Back Pain While Gardening

Jun 28, 2024 09:31AM ● By Catie McArdle, DC

Photo Source: Pixabay/pasja1000

Gardening is a rewarding pastime that many people enjoy, but it can also be hard work for the body—especially for the back. Taking a wise approach, including proper preparation, to avoid injuries and minimize the impact the activity has on the body is important.  

Here are some tips to consider:

• Warm up first. A brisk five-minute walk and some stretching can go a long way. Try doing a set of squats to warm up the leg muscles, and stretch out calves and hamstrings.
• Lift carefully. It’s easy to lift heavy pots, bushes and full watering cans incorrectly. To lift correctly, begin by squatting and not bending at the waist. Use both hands to hold the object, keeping it close to the body and slowly straighten both legs while lifting.
• Take breaks. Bring a water bottle and do some stretching every time it’s used.
• Get support from kneelers or chairs to assist in getting up and down off the knees.
• Stay standing … bring the plants to you instead of planting in the ground. Use pots or try raised beds, wall gardening or hanging plants in window boxes.
• Stretch the hamstrings: Our hamstrings tend to be shortened in a majority of people that sit all day long. Put a straight leg up on a stool, stair or chair and bend directly over that straight leg at the waist. Maintain a straight spine and do not round at the mid back. Hold each pose for 30 seconds and do both sides two to three times.
• Manage spinal alignment: Maintaining proper spinal alignment can help prevent painful symptoms and take pressure off the nerve roots.
• Keep chiropractic appointments: Regular chiropractic adjustments help to prevent injuries and sickness, and boost the immune system.

Chiropractic is a natural form of health care that focuses on the whole body and the relationship between the structure of the spine and the function of the nervous system. It’s a conservative, non-invasive form of restoring the body to its optimal state of well-being. Chiropractors use their hands to manually manipulate the musculoskeletal system, without using drugs or surgical intervention. The spinal adjustments correct the misaligned vertebrae and help to restore nerve function to allow the body to heal on its own.

For those considering other summer recreational activities such as golf, horseback riding or yoga in the park, try to make this summer an active one and do it with a healthy spine. Pain is usually the last symptom to appear and, if it does, it causes a major disruption in our lives. So, take some or all of these preventative measures and don’t wait until pain occurs to focus on spinal health.  

Catie McArdle, DC, started practicing in 2009 and opened McArdle Chiropractic and Wellness Center in 2012 with her husband Robert Sedlor, DC. Both integrate chiropractic techniques and physiotherapies with advice in preventative care, nutritional health, exercise and proper ergonomics. The office is located at 2013 Plainfield Pike, in Johnston, RI. They are open six days a week with both early morning and late evening appointments and they welcome new patients. For more information or to make an appointment, call 401- 383-3400 or visit