Gardening is healthy for the body and does count as exercise, which works the major muscle groups that include the neck, shoulders, arms, abdomen, back, glutes, and legs. However, gardening can cause stress to the body with unhealthy posture/positioning, not using proper lifting techniques, using the wrong tools, and not taking breaks to stretch out the body, move around, and rehydrate. This can lead to body soreness, pain, and injuries. Here are some recommended gardening tips and stretches for pain prevention.

Gardening Tips and Stretches For Pain Prevention

Gardening Tips and Stretches

A sore back and body can stem from staying in a single posture for too long and repetitive motions/movements. Here are a few tips to help maintain musculoskeletal health while gardening:

Tools

  • Choosing the right garden tools can spare a lot of pain and money.
  • Focus on the fundamental tools and purchase the best quality tools that the budget will allow.
  • Size weight, task level, material, grips, handle length, and attachments are things to consider
  • Maintaining quality tools will go a long way.

Digging

  • Digging requires the right tools to get the job done safely and efficiently.
  • Make sure the shovel is sharp enough to reduce using extra force to break up the dirt.
  • The shovel handle should be long enough to avoid excessive bending.
  • Utilize proper digging posture while using a shovel.
  • If using too much pressure, soak the soil to loosen it up.
  • Try not to twist when shoveling the dirt/soil; instead, move the whole body to where the dirt needs to be.

Lifting

  • Prolonged lifting of bags, plants, pots, and equipment can take a toll on the spine and spinal muscles.
  • Bend the knees and use the hips to lift, as the hip muscles are stronger than the low back muscles.
  • Do not bend the waist to come back; use the hips.
  • Investing in an elevated garden or gardening seat/stool is recommended to avoid bending.

Weeding

  • Weeding can require prolonged sitting or bending, depending on the number of weeds.
  • To avoid excessive sitting and bending, a gardening seat/stool can help, as well as a standing weeding tool will reduce the pressure on the back.
  • This is also helpful for knee and/or hip pain.

Mowing

Take Breaks

  • Do not push through; take a break even if the body feels great.
  • Every half hour, the body needs to rest.
  • Try to work in 30-minute increments then break to move around, stretch, relax, and rehydrate.
  • Squatting, bending, digging, lifting bags, and pushing wheelbarrows is a form of strength training that helps achieve stronger muscles, healthier bones, and joints.
  • But if there are no breaks, the chances for pain and injuries increase.

Stretches

Simple stretches can reduce the strain and pain of gardening. Stretching before, during, and after the gardening session is recommended.

Cat Stretch

  • This is a simple yoga pose that helps with back soreness.
  • On your hands and knees, keep the hands at shoulder distance and the knees at hip distance.
  • Pull the navel up to the spine and arch/round the back.
  • Slowly straighten the back.

Cow Stretch

  • The cow stretch is the opposite of the cat pose.
  • Start in the same position.
  • Drop the stomach to the floor and lift the head up and back.
  • The spine will arch and gently stretch the back.

Head Rolls

  • Head rolls will help with shoulder and neck pain.
  • Drop the chin down toward the chest.
  • Gently roll the head to one side going around back to the center.
  • Repeat in the opposite direction.

Supine Twists

  • Supine twists can help the lower back.
  • Lay down with the legs at a 45-degree angle and the arms out to the sides.
  • Twist the legs to one side and look in the opposite direction.
  • Hold the pose until the stretch is felt, and then move back to the starting point.
  • Repeat on the opposite side.

Chiropractic

Chiropractic medicine can help alleviate aches and pains and rehabilitate, realign, and strengthen the body to optimal health.ย Individuals are educated on the musculoskeletal system, injury prevention, nutrition, and exercise to maintain wellness and a pain-free lifestyle.


Pain-Free Gardening Tips and Stretches


References

Howarth, Michelle et al. “What is the evidence for the impact of gardens and gardening on health and well-being: a scoping review and evidence-based logic model to guide healthcare strategy decision making on the use of gardening approaches as a social prescription.” BMJ open vol. 10,7 e036923. 19 Jul. 2020, doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2020-036923

Masashi Soga A et al. “Gardening is beneficial for health: A meta-analysis” www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5153451/pdf/main.pdf.

Scott, Theresa L et al.”Positive aging benefits of home and community gardening activities: Older adults report enhanced self-esteem, productive endeavors, social engagement, and exercise” SAGE open medicine vol. 8 2050312120901732. 22 Jan. 2020, doi:10.1177/2050312120901732

Professional Scope of Practice *

The information herein on "Gardening Tips and Stretches: Low Back Pain Prevention" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional or licensed physician and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.

Blog Information & Scope Discussions

Our information scope is limited to Chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, contributing etiological viscerosomatic disturbances within clinical presentations, associated somatovisceral reflex clinical dynamics, subluxation complexes, sensitive health issues, and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions.

We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from various disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system.

Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and directly or indirectly support our clinical scope of practice.*

Our office has reasonably attempted to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request.

We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez, DC, or contact us at 915-850-0900.

We are here to help you and your family.

Blessings

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, RN*, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN*

email: coach@elpasofunctionalmedicine.com

Licensed as a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) in Texas & New Mexico*
Texas DC License # TX5807, New Mexico DC License # NM-DC2182

Licensed as a Registered Nurse (RN*) in Florida
Florida License RN License # RN9617241 (Control No. 3558029)
Compact Status: Multi-State License: Authorized to Practice in 40 States*

Presently Matriculated: ICHS: MSN* FNP (Family Nurse Practitioner Program)

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, RN* CIFM*, IFMCP*, ATN*, CCST
My Digital Business Card

Previous articleThe Somatovisceral Interface With Pelvic Pain
Next articleIssues That Affect More Than The Heart
Dr. Alex Jimenez
Specialties: Stopping the PAIN! We Specialize in Treating Severe Sciatica, Neck-Back Pain, Whiplash, Headaches, Knee Injuries, Sports Injuries, Dizziness, Poor Sleep, Arthritis. We use advanced proven therapies focused on optimal Mobility, Posture Control, Deep Health Instruction, Integrative & Functional Medicine, Functional Fitness, Chronic Degenerative Disorder Treatment Protocols, and Structural Conditioning. We also integrate Wellness Nutrition, Wellness Detoxification Protocols and Functional Medicine for chronic musculoskeletal disorders. We use effective "Patient Focused Diet Plans", Specialized Chiropractic Techniques, Mobility-Agility Training, Cross-Fit Protocols, and the Premier "PUSH Functional Fitness System" to treat patients suffering from various injuries and health problems. Ultimately, I am here to serve my patients and community as a Chiropractor passionately restoring functional life and facilitating living through increased mobility. Purpose & Passions: I am a Doctor of Chiropractic specializing in progressive cutting-edge therapies and functional rehabilitation procedures focused on clinical physiology, total health, functional strength training, functional medicine, and complete conditioning. We focus on restoring normal body functions after neck, back, spinal and soft tissue injuries. We use Specialized Chiropractic Protocols, Wellness Programs, Functional & Integrative Nutrition, Agility & Mobility Fitness Training and Cross-Fit Rehabilitation Systems for all ages. As an extension to dynamic rehabilitation, we too offer our patients, disabled veterans, athletes, young and elder a diverse portfolio of strength equipment, high-performance exercises and advanced agility treatment options. We have teamed up with the cities' premier doctors, therapist and trainers in order to provide high-level competitive athletes the options to push themselves to their highest abilities within our facilities. We've been blessed to use our methods with thousands of El Pasoans over the last 3 decades allowing us to restore our patients' health and fitness while implementing researched non-surgical methods and functional wellness programs. Our programs are natural and use the body's ability to achieve specific measured goals, rather than introducing harmful chemicals, controversial hormone replacement, un-wanted surgeries, or addictive drugs. We want you to live a functional life that is fulfilled with more energy, a positive attitude, better sleep, and less pain. Our goal is to ultimately empower our patients to maintain the healthiest way of living. With a bit of work, we can achieve optimal health together, no matter the age, ability or disability.