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Gardening and Back Pain: How to Protect Yourself

With warmer weather here to stay for the foreseeable future, there’s a good chance you’ll find yourself spending a lot of time in your garden.

While this can be great fun, your good time can turn sour if you suffer a back injury.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to avoid this injury. Consider the following:

•    Use proper lifting technique: If you absolutely need to lift a heavy object, such as a bag of dirt or mulch, lift with your legs while keeping your back straight. And never attempt to lift something that’s too heavy. Get help.

•    Find something to sit on: Rather than put all the stress on your knees and back, find something low to the ground to sit on while you garden. For example, a stool or bucket can do wonders.

•    Take breaks: Even though you’re enjoying yourself, take regular breaks. This gives you the opportunity to stretch your back and rest your body as a whole. Subsequently, you reduce the risk of injury.

Should you suffer a back injury, such as a muscle strain, while gardening, immediately stop what you’re doing to treat it. From there, stay out of your garden until you make a full recovery. You don’t want your injury to linger all summer.

Jennifer Ferdinand, owner of Serendipity Wellness Studio in Burke, VA, has been practicing massage therapy and esthetics since 2006. She is nationally certified through NCBTMB, and licensed in Virginia for both Massage Therapy and Esthetics.

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