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Save Your Spine This Gardening Season

spinal molding illustrationWith spring in full swing, many Minnesotans are preparing their vegetable gardens and flower beds. While the payoff can be big in terms of bounty and beauty, the pain from the backbreaking work can be severe. The good news is there are many things you can do to enjoy this season of gardening and save your back.

Here are Dr. Mark‘s tips to get you ready to have a pain-free gardening season:

  • Get before-and-after chiropractic adjustments. If you plan on gardening or mulching, be sure to get adjusted before you begin. Doing so can ensure your body is in the right position. When you’re done, get adjusted again, so your body stays in proper alignment.
  • Warm up before beginning. You can take a quick walk, jog in place for a few minutes, or do some back stretches.
  • Break up the task. You don’t have to tackle all your gardening projects or yard work in one session. Take on your projects in smaller increments, instead of working for several hours straight. By doing so, you can take it easy on the muscles that haven’t been used all winter.
  • Stay hydrated. Gardening is exercise and a great workout, so it’s important to drink plenty of water. Carry a large water bottle with you as you move throughout the yard or garden. It’s a good idea to take a water break about every 15 minutes.
  • Lift correctly. Avoid twisting and lifting with your lower back. Instead, let your legs do the work. It’s also a good idea to use a wheelbarrow to transport heavier objects, like big bags of mulch.
  • Avoid repetitive motions. Break up your gardening tasks into different forms of motion. For example, rake for 15 minutes and then switch to digging or planting.
  • Use a Rollga foam roller or pool noodle. Foam rolling can significantly improve range of motion and decrease soreness and tightness by increasing blood flow and flexibility.
  • Use ice. After a day of working in the garden, you likely will feel a little sore. Use ice on any areas of the body that are sore.

We want you to enjoy a happy gardening season and maintain a healthy spine. Contact Advantage Chiropractic today to book an appointment!
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