Pain Free Gardening
There’s nothing more flattering to a home than a well kept yard, well-trimmed shrubs, and well-tended flower beds. Likewise, a vegetable garden that produces a bumper crop of tomatoes, turnips, and green beans is most flattering to its owner. Unfortunately, all too often gardening is painful for its participants. Gardening and landscaping are great exercises if one recognizes that they are activities that produce certain body stresses; and are respectful of certain physical limitations. Most people hibernate all winter then at the first sign of spring try to make their lawns or gardens the most attractive on the block, and they attempt this all in one day!
Although gardening does not use tremendous surges of energy or force the body into shock situations as might be required by activities like competitive sports, it should be recognized that the heath threat may be just as serious. Many health disorders are the result of awkward posture positions, use of muscles not conditioned for the activity, and overindulgence. Not necessarily accidents. Doctors of chiropractic, whose health-care services emphasize the structural integrity of the body and concern for those health disorders related to the spine and nervous system, offer the following “golden rules” of gardening:
Warm up your muscles to ta task a few minutes before you embark on a tough project.
Don’t bend over for long periods of time without taking standing breaks.
Don’t lift more than you can handle.
Wear clothing that does not restrict or confine your movements.
Wear flat, comfortable shoes that offer firm support.
Use the proper tool for each job.
Avoid becoming overheated or chilled.
Avoid iced drinks when overheated.
Avoid doing your work in an awkward position.
If you injure yourself and/or have routine aches and pains, consult with a health care specialist. Chiropractic physicians are the most equipped specialist to handle back problems and keep you active so that you could spend many years in the garden and not let those beautiful chrysanthemums give you ugly back pain!