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How to prevent injury 

Our top tips to prevent injury while gardening - especially a bad back!
 
WATCH VIDEO: How To Avoid Injury When Digging In The Garden
with Swindon Chiropractic
 
Gardeming in Swindon
It may be a lovely weekend with a great weather forecast and itís time to get gardening.
 
But how many of us consider how our bodies, particularly our backs, will cope with the full-on exercise of gardening?
 
We tend not to associate this pastime with rigorous exercise but back injuries are extremely common.They are often caused by people over-reaching in the garden and harming the muscle groups around the spine.
 
Once a back problem is established it can be painful and, expensive, to treat.
 
So here are some tips to stay healthy in the garden from Swindon Chiropractic Clinic:
 
Top tips:
  1. Get as close to your work as you can. Reaching out means the muscles in your back will be working extra hard.
  2. Move your feet! Lifting and twisting is the biggest cause of injury in the garden, especially when lifting heavy objects or just repeated small movements.
  3. Invest in long-handled, well-made garden tools Ė these give better leverage. Wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothes. See video above.
  4. Secateurs: keep your wrist straight when pruning if you can to give your joint the maximum support while your snipping away.
  5. Remember, you're not a professional gardener! Warm up before gardening with simple, gentle side stretches to help the muscle groups prepare for the activity. Even walk around the block before you start.
  6. When weeding and kneeling work in an arc at about armsí length, donít over reach.
  7. Avoid lunging forward for those plants at the back as it puts strain on the muscles of the lower back.
  8. Mind those knees!! Kneeling really compresses the knees joints, so if you're weeding, especially, try not to stay in the same position for too long.
  9. With a big garden where lots of digging is required, consider hiring a rotavator for half a day, costing around £40. Spending a few pounds on this type of machinery can be very cost effective. If you injure your back the cost in time and money could be much higher.
  10. If trees need pruning, make sure someone is with you to hold a ladder and, again, donít over reach Ė move the ladder frequently rather than stretching that bit too far.
  11. When laying patio slabs, hold the slab close to the body, bend the knees and go down on one knee.
  12. If you are using railway sleepers, always ask another person to help.
  13. Take breaks every 20 to 30 minutes to give your back a rest. have a cup of tea, a glass of water or maybe even reward yourself with a beer or gin and tonic!
  14. If while gardening you feel a twinge in your back, stop, move around and take a break. If the pain does not go Ė use an ice-pack (not a heat pack) on the painful area. ďDonít put an ice-pack directly onto the skin. Always wrap it in a thin layer of cloth, like a tea towel, and apply it for about 20 minutes. Keep mobile though, donít veg out on the sofa as that is not good for the back.Ē If your back is still stiff and sore the following day, seek advice.
  15. Raise the beds! If you can, bring the garden to you and instead of crouching down to tend your plants, try and bring the plants to you.
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