Spring is here! Sort of…

As with the rest of the world, Spring is scheduled to begin at 6pm on March 20th.  Unfortunately, here on the east coast, the weather is far from Spring-like with up to 6″ of snow forecasted to come down on the first day of spring.  But even with the snowfall, winter will still lose.  Spring is coming.

With spring comes gardening and with gardening comes the potential for low back pain.  As you prepare your beautiful beds for the beautiful bulbs about to burst forward, consider these tips/techniques to protect yourself from injury:

LIFTING: Think about and try to incorporate efficient posture throughout the body while lifting. Pay particular attention to the spine (i.e. prevent prolonged bending at the waist while lifting, instead use a hip-hinge). Pictured: Proper lifting from ground (initiation of lift through terminal lift)

lifting

  • MORE ON LIFTING: Even when lifting lighter objects from moderate heights, one should still use proper body mechanics. It is often the repetitive stress that causes pain. Pictured: Improper lift (top), proper lift (bottom)side bend liftproper lift
    • CARRYING: Be sure to maintain neutral posture at your spine while carrying an object. Prevent backward “shearing” of the lower back. Pictured: Improper form (top), proper form (bottom)

    carrying poorlycarrying properly

    • PULLING: Try not to use your back and neck. Maintain a slight hip-hinge, use a staggered stance and shift your body from front to back to use momentum to pull.  This same technique also works great for pulling weeds and those deep roots that require so much force to remove. Pictured: Improper form (top), proper form (bottom)reachreach 2

    A lot of these techniques may not come naturally but with guidance, training and practice you will be able to garden with these proper techniques without pain.

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