Tips for Preventing Back Pain After Yard Work
While you may smile knowing that nice weather is here, it also means you likely have responsibilities in your yard. Whether you enjoy gardening or not, leaning over and pulling weeds is often strenuous on your back. You may notice you have pain in your back when you weed whack as well. Through these few tips, you can reduce the amount of pain you experience and help prevent worsening a pre-existing back condition.
1. TAKE BREAKS FREQUENTLY
When you complete the same tasks over and over again, you stress your muscles. For instance, when you bend over to weed, you put stress on your lower back and neck. If you're weed whacking, you may feel the wrath in your shoulders. If you want to prevent overworking your muscles, you should frequently take breaks.
2. WARM UP
Just like before a rigorous exercise, you should stretch your muscles a bit before you begin yard work. If not, you put yourself at risk for sustaining an injury while you work.
3. STAY HYDRATED
Always maintain proper hydration while you work. Your entire body needs water to function, even on a cellular level. By receiving proper hydration, you help your muscles to work properly. One common sign that your muscles don’t receive enough hydration is muscle cramping. If you already have a back problem, the muscle cramping will further worsen your pain.
4. SWITCH UP YOUR TASKS
You probably don’t want to continuously do the same task for prolonged periods of time, even if you take breaks. Try working a task for a certain length of time and then switching to another task. Continue to do this if you plan to work a long day in your yard to avoid overstressing your muscles.
5. CHOOSE YOUR POSITION FOR WEEDING CAREFULLY
You don't want to bend over while standing up to weed. When you do that, you place excess stress on your back muscles. Instead of hunching over, sit on a wheeled gardening stool. You could also use a blanket or a gardening mat and sit to weed. You'll stress your back muscles less.
6. WEAR SUPPORTIVE SHOES
You want to wear shoes that support your arch well if you mow your lawn, whack weeds, or rake leaves. If your feet have inadequate adequate support, you can experience back pain as a result.
7. BEND WITH YOUR KNEES WHEN LIFTING
Part of your yard work may consist of lifting large mulch bags to dump or move stones for your wall, among other activities that require you to lift heavy objects. You never want to lift with your back. You always want to lift with your legs. Accomplish this by bending your knees when you lift.
8. MAKE SMALLER PILES TO HAUL
You may think a task is much quicker when you haul a large or heavy load of objects at one time, but doing this stresses your back. You may want to make smaller piles of what you're carrying to avoid an injury or overstressing your muscles.
9. KNOW WHEN TO QUIT
You probably have days when you want to just keep pushing yourself to accomplish as much as you can. This practice, however, hurts you in the end, especially if you complete tasks that stress your back and you already have a back problem.
Don't let back pain hinder you from getting all of your yard work done this summer. With these tips, you may reduce the amount of stress your back feels. You might also prevent yourself from sustaining a back injury while you work outside.
Schedule an appointment with Sonoran Spine, serving several cities throughout Arizona, if you experience an injury or have back pain this summer.