Spring Has Sprung – And So Has Lower Back Pain

About this time every year, we see a huge influx of patients who have come to us with lower back pain issues because as they state, “I’ve overdone it with the yard work.”

Those who do yard work – like it or not – and gardening, start planning their outdoor home improvement projects purchasing flower and vegetable seeds, shrubs and trees.

With all of the planning required it’s not unusual for even a seasoned gardener to forget to take appropriate steps to avoid “overdoing” it and ending up with back pain.  It is the number one complaint related to yard work. Here’s what we recommend as steps you can take to guard against minor and even serious back injuries and discomfort that may accompany your quest for a beautiful landscape.

  • Use your arms and legs to pull, not your back. Bend at the waist while keeping your legs straight is the quickest way to place stress on your back.  It might be best to squat or sit while weeding/planting.
  • Using special gardening seat or something similar can help you avoid over-flexing your hips. Work smarter not harder – the less you repeatedly get up and down, the less stress you place on your back, hips and knees.
  • Use those wheels to roll things. Lifting and carrying large bags of mulch, soil or manure can really bring on the back pain. If you can’t lift a bag in your arms with little exertion then it’s too heavy. If you have a wheel barrow, use that to transport heavy loads back and forth or use a smaller bucket to carry lighter loads for more frequent trips.
  • Make smaller loads out of debris, including branches, brush or uprooted bushes. That will make them easier to transport, rather than forcing your body into awkward positions when trying to carry them.
  • Taking your time to enjoy your spring landscaping work will make it easier and more fun, and less likely for an injury to happen. When we’re tired we work less carefully and that is the prime time for injuries.

Spring is a wonderful season full of new life and beautiful scenery. It’s a beautiful time of the year inGeorgiaand you can enjoy it more if you are pain free.

 

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