Back Safe Autumn Gardening Advice From Our Stoke Chiropractors

back safe gardening advice from out stoke chiropractors

Autumn is certainly hear. With shorter, cooler days and leaves falling. If you are a keen (or maybe not so keen) gardener there’s plenty to get done in the garden at this time of year.

It’s not uncommon for gardening to be called ‘back breaking’ work and there’s a good reason for this. With all the physical effort to get the gardening done, there’s a risk of causing yourself an injury to your back or straining your muscles.

Our chiropractors at City Chiropractic in Stoke, have some good advice for keeping your back and muscles safe when gardening this Autumn.


Back Safe Autumn gardening advice

#1 – Clothing

Wear comfortable clothing that won’t restrict your movement. However, do ensure that your clothing isn’t going to get caught or tangled in foliage or equipment you may be using.

Start out by wearing layers, so that as you warm up you can remove them so that you don’t overheat.


#2 – Before you start

Gardening can at times be a surprisingly energetic activity. At same stage you’ll find yourself, lifting and carrying things. There’s also plenty of bending and stretching involved. All of this activity can take it’s toll on your body, especially if it’s not prepared for the tasks at hand!

Before getting started with your gardening activities, take 5 or so minutes to warm up your body ready by doing some simple stretches.


#3 – Plan your jobs

It’s only too easy to fall into the trap of getting straight into it, but, before getting into heavy lifting, digging etc think about starting with smaller, lighter tasks. Starting with these lighter type of tasks is another step in preparing your body for the more demanding jobs which lay ahead.


#4 – Make jobs easier on yourself   

Gardening often involves actions that put unnecessary strain on your muscles and joints. Reaching is one such activity. To minimise the risk of injury when overreaching, bring the object you are working on as close to your body as possible. Also, avoid twisting your body when working.


#5 – Using equipment that helps

There are all types of equipment available today that will make gardening activities easier and safer for you. Equipment you may want to consider to help you include a:

  • Long handled shears
  • Long handled rakes, brooms, and shovels
  • Buckets with ergonomic handles for moving items
  • Kneeling pad
  • Wheelbarrow


#6 – Avoid bending

Bending can put a great deal of strain on your back. If you have to get down low, use a kneeling pad to kneel on or squat. Your back will thank you for it.


#7 – Use a ladder correctly

Unfortunately, injuries caused by using ladders inappropriately are all too common. If you are going to use a ladder then please make sure you follow this advice::

  • Place the ladder directly towards the object you are working on
  • Make sure you are always facing the ladder when you are using it
  • When on the ladder, keep your knees, hips and shoulders pointing in same direction
  • Moving the ladder frequently to avoid leaning or overreaching
  • Make sure the ladder is firmly and safely positioned
  • Work with a partner whenever possible to keep your ladder stable


#8 – Think before you lift

There always seems to be some heavy lifting to be done when gardening, be it moving bags of compost, filling buckets of water or moving garden furniture!  To protect your back, we recommend you think before you lift!

Keep the following in mind before you lift:

  • Plan your route
    Be clear on where your final destination is. Make sure to remove objects in the way and eliminate any trip hazards.
  • Stand straight on to the object
    To avoid twisting your torso when picking up the object, stand directly in front of it.
  • Keep the object close to your body
    Lessen the strain placed on your lower back by holding the object as close to your body as possible.
  • Bend your knees and let your legs take the weight
    Your legs are much strong than the muscles in your abdomen or lower back, so let them do the work.
  • Keep your back straight
    Reduce the risk of damage to the intervertebral discs, muscles, and ligaments in the back by keeping your back straight
  • Call a friend
    Call on a family member or friend to help you with the job at hand.


#9 – Split items in smaller lighter loads

If possible, split items into smaller, lighter and more manageable loads.


#10 – Have your items unloaded close to where you’ll be using them

If you are having soil, timber, stones, or other materials delivered, have them placed close to the location where they will be used. This can greatly reduce the amount of heavy work required by you.


#11 – Vary the type of work you are performing

A change is as good as a rest. Break up tasks so that you avoid performing the same task over and over again.


#12 – Take regular time outs

Taking regular breaks to do some light stretching and rehydrate is important.



Visiting Our Stoke chiropractors

If you are suffering back pain or discomfort our experienced team of chiropractors at City Chiropractic Clinic in Stoke are here to help you.

To book an appointment with one of our team, simply call our clinic on 01782 848 184 or you can book online at our website here.