Gardening with Back Pain

Winter is over and summer is just around the corner. You are looking forward to getting the garden back in order in time for the good weather but you’re worried about one thing….your back pain. Last year you couldn’t do everything that you wanted because the pain was restricting you from cleaning, painting, weeding etc… Getting down and up again constantly was just too painful.

So what are you going to do? Pay someone hundreds or even thousands to do the job you see as a hobby and enjoy doing so much? Or get back out to the garden and get back to doing what you love.

Below is a list of ways in which you can help free up your back and avoid stiffness.

  1. First of all, warming up is a good idea. Go for a light walk and do some stretches. You want to get the blood flowing and your tissues loosened before you start lifting, pulling and dragging. Practice flexing your spine forward and touching your toes, also, flexing your spine from side to side. Lie on your back and limber up your spine by pulling your knees to your chest. If you’re suffering with severe back pain, don’t push through any pain. Discuss with your therapist what the best exercises are for you.


  1. Watch how you lift. I am not a huge fan of manual handling courses. I think they are taught wrong but some of the concepts are ok. When lifting heavy objects while suffering from back pain it’s a good idea to bend the knees and drop your hips and do your best to keep a straight spine while lifting. This can be a safer way to lift heavy objects. In order to get rid of long term back pain I usually teach clients how to lift differently but for the purpose of this blog this method is sufficient.


  1. Take breaks and go back to point 1 above. When you are tending to your garden, you can easily lose track of time. But to break the cycle of you suffering with this nagging back pain you will have to do things differently. Set an alarm for every hour and take a 10 minute break. Go for a light walk, sit down and have a cup of coffee and always do your stretching again.


4. Wall gardening, also called vertical gardening, is a trend of planting up, not across the ground. If bending is painful for you, working more at your eye level may be something to consider.


5. When the day is done and you have all or most of your work done, it’s time to think about recovery. Try getting into a warm bath of Epsom Salt or you can use some hot and cold therapy. Alternate 5 minutes ice and 5 minutes hot water for 30 minutes. Drink plenty of water and have a nutritious meal to help recover. This is particularly important if you are hoping to get back out to the garden again the next day.

These are 5 tips that will help you get through the day. Take these into consideration if you are worried about your back and have work to get done in your garden.

 If this is an ongoing issue and you can’t seem to shake it or if you’re taking pain medication to resolve your problem, I have attached below a link to 7 Ways To End Back Pain.

 If you have any questions follow the link and download the FREE step by step guide.