Gardening can be therapeutic and rewarding. It can promote healthy living and encourage you to go out and get fresh air. Many benefits come from gardening, and it’s understandable why people spend so much time in their gardens. However, gardening can be a physically demanding activity and requires extra care. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or hobbyist, it’s important to take care of your body the same way you care for your garden. It’s common to experience some level of back pain while gardening due to the strain it can place on the back.
Sciatica pain generally refers to pain radiating from the back to the leg. This pain may be due to tension along any part of the sciatic nerve pathway. Back and sciatic pain can flare up at any time during a gardening session if the strain on the back is too much. However, the benefits of getting out to garden far outweigh the downsides as long as gardening is done with care. When approached properly, gardening is one of the best forms of exercise you can do for your body and mind.
4 Tips to Avoid Sciatica Pain after Gardening
Gardening can bring calmness to mind and help reduce anxiety. However, long periods of planting can take a toll on the back and exasperate existing back pain. This possibility doesn’t mean you need to cross gardening off your list. With a few adjustments and creativity, you can still garden and protect your back from sciatica pain.
1. Warm-up before Gardening
Gardening can be a real workout, so warming up the muscles first is beneficial. A five-minute walk and stretching before starting can warm up your muscles to prevent straining yourself while gardening.
2. Lift with Support
Lifting heavy pots, bushes, watering cans, and other heavy gardening equipment without proper support can injure the back’s discs, muscles, or ligaments. To lift correctly, begin by squatting and not bending at the waist. Use both hands to hold the object, keeping the object close to the body and slowly straightening the legs. When possible, minimize lifting by using a wagon, dolly, or other lifting aids to carry heavy objects from place to place.
3. Take Frequent Breaks
It’s easy to lose track of time when doing an activity one enjoys, but breaks are essential to keep yourself healthy and pain-free.
4. Get Support from Kneelers and Chairs
Kneeling on the ground and then standing upright can be painful or even impossible, depending on the level of pain and flexibility you experience. Heavy-duty kneelers, especially those with raised, padded handles, can help you get up and down, allowing you to use your arm strength to aid the process. Kneelers tend to include a well-cushioned base to reduce the impact and stress on your back and knees.
Need Back Pain Relief? Work with Spinal Specialists at NJ Spine & Orthopedic
NJ Spine & Orthopedic knows that back pain prevents people from participating in activities they love and can make it challenging to enjoy their lives to the fullest. Our award-winning medical team is determined to help our patients return to or regain their ability to do the activities they love. We put our patient’s needs first with our personalized, patient-centered treatment plans. Our goal is to help you find pain relief so you can enjoy your gardening without worry.