Updated: Oct 5, 2017
As a chiropractor, this is the time of year when we see many patients, who, by the time Monday morning rolls around, have strained their backs from a weekend of yard work. Here are some tips to make sure that your gardening and yard work are pain-free and enjoyable.
First of all, approach yard work like a workout. Take the time to warm up your muscles before jumping into digging, lifting heavy mulch and planting. I suggest taking a few laps around the yard at a brisk pace in order to generate blood flow and warm up those back muscles. Take the time to do some gentle stretching, especially your legs - the hamstrings and quadriceps muscles - since we use them so much when bending forward.
When lifting heavy objects always squat and use your legs, never bend from the waist. Take frequent breaks from bending forward and stand upright and gently extend backwards to allow those lower back muscles to relax.
Finally, drink plenty of fluids, especially when working in hot sun. This will help to prevent muscle spasm and cramping.
Originally posted on the Northborough Patch