9 Tips for Avoiding Back Pain Caused by Yard Work


9 Tips for Avoiding Back Pain Caused by Yard Work

Proper Techniques for Back Pain and Yard Work

When you have back pain but still absolutely must get out in that yard and clean it up, you have some choices to make.

By choosing the proper technique and proper preparation for the yard work, you’ll be able to perform your chores with the least amount of difficulty.

Tips and Guidelines on Doing Yard Work With Back Pain

Here’s a list of some important guidelines to follow:

  1. Consider Shoes That Flex. Do the yardwork with minimalist shoes. Minimalist athletic shoes are flexible shoes that fit the contours of your feet and allow your feet to flex as needed during movement. With a strong foundation, you’re ready for anything out there in the garden. Oh, and by the way, you will still need your orthotics, especially if you have flat feet, plantar fascitiis, or bunions. These three foot conditions always need foot support. The reason why minimalist shoes work well is because they simulate walking barefoot, which puts your feet, legs, knees and hips in the proper alignment for activity. Proper alignment decreases back pain.
  2. Reap the Benefits of the Earth. At the end of your yardwork, take 20 minutes and lie down in the grass. This is important because it will allow your body to soak in all the negative ions from the earth. Guess what – the negative ions decrease back pain! You need skin touching the earth for this.
  3. Are You Drinking Enough Water? Drink two large glasses of water before tackling the garden work. Your joints need water for proper movement. In fact, many cases of back pain are due to dehydration.
  4. Mowing Posture is Important. When mowing the lawn, try to keep an upright posture. Leaning forward to push the lawn mower coupled with the vibration could potentially be bad for your back and worsen your back pain.
  1. Lifting Guidelines. When lifting big bags of compost, dirt, or humus, your back must remain straight. Lift the bag after squatting down. If squatting down is a problem, ask a neighbor to help. In fact, if your back pain is that bad, why not pay a neighbor to help or find a qualified person to help?
  2. Rake with Joy. When raking, switch sides, or rake for only a few minutes at a time, then stop and come back to it later.
  3. No Rush to Complete It. Enjoy the garden at least for 10 minutes every hour by taking a break.
  4. Look to Others For Weeding. Don’t even attempt weeding. Hire out for this. The interesting thing is that lawn care companies have really decreased their prices in the last few years. For example, I have a team of gardeners that arrives weekly and only charges $20 per week. I found them by observing who was doing the neighbor’s yards and approached the company directly. They take care of pruning, mowing, raking and blowing, and anything extra special that is needed.
  5. Increase Antioxidants. After your gardening session, the #1 thing to decrease your pain is walking barefoot or touching the earth, as mentioned above. To assist, even more, add 1000 mg vitamin C, 400 IU vitamin E and 10,000 IU vitamin A. This should immediately cut down on the back pain.

You do have choices – and you have a plan! Now tackle that yard work with a smile!

Donna SchwontkowskiDonna Schwontkowski

Dr. Donna Schwontkowski is a retired chiropractor with two degrees in nutrition and a Master's in herbology. She is convinced that every illness can be improved significantly through diet and nutritional protocols.

Jul 16, 2014
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