5 GOLDEN TIPS! How to minimize the chances of back injuries while gardening?

Gardening is not an extreme sport, where would you need a helmet and a starting number on your chest. Nevertheless, the back pain is a common occurrence during the first spring gardening action. In this article, we advise you how to be aware of most common causes for injuries while gardening and how to avoid them. We wish you a pleasant read!

 

1. Warming up and winter training

As while doing other physical activity also before gardening, it is recommended to warm up and stretch, because the forces on the body are immense and the movement, for the majority, not a daily routine. Even more effective are exercises for strength and balance, which you should do before the gardening season occurs. Walking and cycling is not enough for a healthy spine and joints. During the short winter days, we encourage you to visit training or group sessions, where the emphasis is on the build-up and flexibility of the whole spine and balance.

 

Better, you will be prepared before the start of the gardening season, less chance you have being injured while gardening in the spring!

 

For a warm up before any physical activity in the garden, we recommend at least:

  • 2 ×10 squats
  • 20 × spine stretching
  • head rotation 10 × each way
  • rotation of the shoulder joints 20 × each way
  • rotation of the wrists

2. Enough fluids

Spring enthusiasm in the garden can “dry us out”, that is why it is very important that we be adequately prepared for gardening. A state of dehydration affects brain activity, blood pressure, blood stream, digestion, liver function and increases the chances of spine injury and other joints during the physical activity.

We do not drink water excessively at once, but frequently and in smaller doses. If there is, increased sweating it is advised to add a pinch of mineral salt on one litre of water, that we substitute at least some of the lost minerals.

Alcohol additionally increases water secretion from the body, that why it is not recommended during hard physical activity. In addition, we would not advise drinking of energy drinks and drinks that contain caffeine.

 

We do not drink water excessively at once, but frequently and in smaller doses.

 

 

3. How to ease back stiffness during gardening?

Back, shoulder, elbow, wrist, hip, knee, pain … Long term bending over our loved earth leaves behind stiffness, especially, in our spine and pain in other joints. The most successful way, how to reduce stiffness before, in between and after gardening is passive hanging. We recommend that, every half an hour for 30 seconds you hold on a doorframe or a close by tree branch and let the gravitational force release your spine and other joints. If you cannot hold yourself with hands, you can always let your feet touch the ground for a little help. During the hanging breathe peacefully, emphasising a longer exhale. The more often during the day you will perform this, more vital you will feel. Your spine will be grateful!

 

Alert! When you finish with hanging, do not jump/fall to the ground, but try slowly and under control establishing a reconnection with the floor below you.

 

4. Gardening plan

Divide the garden works into smaller tasks during the whole day. The golden rule of ergonomic gardening is that you take every 30 min a brake for a rest and hanging, especially during digging and pruning. Your joints and head will be refreshed and you will be able to work more effectively through the whole day. In the beginning of the gardening season, do not set yourself a too big garden, since many of amateur gardeners cannot take care or eat their crops in time, resulting in their decay in the garden through the season.

 

In the beginning of the gardening season, do not set yourself a too big garden!

 

 

5. The right work and right tools

  • Try to avoid exaggerated stretch outs with your hands in the front or sideways, when you lift loaded tools or plants. This causes big pressures on your spine, especially when you are tired.
  • Do not bend over with a skewed back, but make the majority of the bend in your knees with a straightened out spine. Use ergonomically shaped gardening tools, which reduce the bend because of their length and handle shape.
  • Most of the classical tools have a too slim handle, which forbids an efficient hold of the thumb around the handle. The consequence is unnecessary squeezing of the tool handle and stiffness in the forearm. We recommend you to put on an additional rubber tube on the handle for additional grip. Even better, it would be, to acquire ergonomically shaped tools, which have thicker handles made of wood or rubber coated aluminium.

 

Your health is not granted

Do not safe on your health’s expense and decide on the extraordinary ergonomic tools for your gardening work. There are many producers, which are promoting several ergonomic advantages. Among all of them, we recommend you easy usable and innovative ergonomic tools EFEKT!

 

 

EFEKT ergonomic tools for garden:

  • adjusted shape and handle length for less bending
  • control handle and adjusted handle thickness for easier manipulation
  • skilfully manufactured for a reasonable price
  • they offer tools in ALUMINIUM, as well as in an innovative WOOD series
  • developed, designed and produces in Slovenia
  • check their offer on rinz.eu
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