Bad Back? How To Weed Out Back And Sciatic Pain Symptoms In The Garden.
If you love your garden as much as I do and you have backache, pinched sciatic nerve symptoms, back spasms or one of the many back pain issues you may be wondering if you can ever garden again.
Gardening can be hard on the back and I thought I would have to give it up forever.
However I discovered that is not necessarily the case…
- Gardening is a very physical activity but there are lots of things you can do to make it easier. Even if you really cannot do the physical work you can still take a very active part in your garden. Also gardening is a great motivator, and wonderful back care inspiration. If you want to do your garden and you are dealing with or recovering from, back aches and pains you are much more likely to keep up with any back care stretches and exercises and be diligent about looking after your back.
- First do check with your healthcare professional to make sure it is safe for you to do gardening activities and if there is anything you should absolutely avoid doing.
- Then look at your garden with a critical eye from your “bad backs” perspective and if necessary consider a redesign. This is something many gardeners do anyway once in a while. If you have persistent backache, back pain or disc problems you just need to take a few more things into account. You know your back like no one else does. Evaluate what jobs you find difficult and which are fine for you.
Listen to your body and let that be your guide.
- Consider a low maintenance garden. Plant so that there are no bare patches of earth where the weeds can grow. Less weeding equals less bending and less backache. Go for low maintenance plants and shrubs. Concentrate plants needing more attention in one area and consider a raised bed for them so less stooping for your back. Place the area nearer to your house or your garden shed. Your tools will be closer to hand that way.
- Scented plants are fantastic in raised beds for everyone to enjoy. You can even grow great vegetables in large raised beds and have more control over the environment and soil. Raised beds at waist height mean less work for your back. If you have a small lawn, consider gravelling it or using chamomile or other lawn plants.
- When you first get back pain your garden can suffer as you deal with the initial pain. If your garden has done its own thing for a while you need to take it in hand. If family or friends cannot help, consider getting a company in to do the hard graft for you then you can concentrate on doing the finishing touches. If you share a garden or have an allotment consider asking if people would swap tasks with you so you do more of some things for them and they do more of say digging for you, it’s worth a try!
- Consider a series of raised beds with paths in between so you can move easily between them to tend your plants. Don’t make the beds too wide though as you need to comfortably reach them.
- When gardening with back pain issues warm up first. Do any back care stretches such as Lose The Back Pain System you have been following, go for a short walk and treat it like you are getting ready for some real physical activity …which you are. If it helps you use a heat pad while you are gardening to keep the muscles in your back warm and less prone to injury. After gardening do your back care stretches again and get into a warm bath or shower as soon as you can.
- Frustrating as it is, do a little, rest, then do a little more. I used to be an all day gardener but now I respect my back and listen to any little aches and pains and stop before it needs to shout at me! Vary the activity so you don’t do repetitive tasks which put a strain on your lower or upper back. So mix it up with a little weeding, trimming, pruning etc. LISTEN TO YOUR BODY.
- What a pain it is when you just want that big pot moving a couple of yards. Do wait until you can get someone else to do it. It is not worth aggravating your recovery from back pain for the sake of a little patience.
- Let someone know you are in the garden working. If you do overstrain your back you will want the comfort of knowing someone will be checking on you from time to time.
- Consider some of the many tools you can buy to help you if you have general backache, pinched sciatic nerve symptoms, upper or lower back pain. A small investment in some good quality tools will ease strain on your back and mean you can be independent in your gardening
- If the physical work is really too much for your back at this stage you can do all the design, planning, ordering and task list. Teach others how to do what you know so they too can grow from the experience and learn to love gardening.
- Visit gardening forums and pass on your knowledge. For the year I could not do any gardening due to my low back pain and pinched sciatic nerve symptoms I taught my husband, following him round every inch and he went from being not at all interested... to now loving it :} Now I just need to get my garden back...!
- Always think what you CAN DO not what you can’t do. You may have back pain but you do not need to give up your garden. Work out a way you and your back can enjoy it together…