The arrival of spring means it time to start gardening for many people. Before you begin tilling and planting, take a few minutes to consider your back. Pulling weeds, raking a lawn or just digging a hole can strain your back. In fact, any movement that requires lifting, twisting or turning can injure your back. To make sure your flower bed doesn’t land you in bed, here’s what Madonna TherapyPlus recommends:

  1. Avoid squatting and bending as much as possible. Instead of bending over to work on your garden, kneel on a soft cushion.
  2. Take a break to stretch your back every 15 to 30 minutes. Stand up slowly, take several deep breaths and place your hands on your low back while slowly arching backward.
  3. Use a wheelbarrow for hauling heavy objects.
  4. Always load materials toward the front of the wheel barrow, using your legs to lift.
  5. When lifting, position yourself close to the object. Separate your feet shoulder width apart.
  6. Make sure that you bend at the knees and tighten your stomach muscles. Lift with your legs as you stand up.
  7. Avoid raking, lifting or digging for long, uninterrupted periods. It’s important to take frequent rests and alternate between using your right and left side.
  8. When mowing, always push with your legs and maintain a good, upright posture.
  9. Choose gardening tools with padded handles to protect joints in your hands and fingers from excess pressure.
  10. Remember to drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration and wear sun screen.

If you experience pain of any kind, stop immediately, and seek assistance. If you suffer from persistent pain, speak with your doctor, and ask if physical therapy would be
appropriate for you.

Madonna Fit For Work's injury prevention services include educational informational sessions to create better individual health awareness and teach employees better behaviors. To learn more, call 402.420.0002 or click here