Even though it’s only the beginning of February, you might be thinking about planting your spring garden (and the warm weather we’ve had in Northern Colorado recently only adds to that desire). You may have also received your first seed catalog of the year, and looking through it, you can see everything you’re going to grow. In Loveland and Fort Collins, you usually can’t begin planting things until April or May, but if you’re suffering from lower back pain, you may have to put off your yard work even longer. At Colorado Spine Institute (CSI), we’ve treated patients who have tweaked or injured their back while caring for their garden or getting their backyard ready for spring.
Tips for Avoiding Pain
If you’re suffering from a spinal condition such as degenerative disc disease or sciatica, you may not be able to do much in the yard without experiencing debilitating pain. If you’re dealing with sore muscles or overextended joints, there are some things you can to avoid pain while tending to your yard.
When picking up those bags of soil or mulch, be sure to keep your back straight and bend at the knees. If you have a long distance to carry something, consider putting it in a wheelbarrow or on a cart instead of lugging it the entire way. You can save yourself from serious pain by properly lifting things.
Drink Plenty of Water
Even if it’s a mild day, it’s important to drink plenty of water before and while you work in the yard. Your muscles need water, and you can prevent discomfort and dehydration by drinking H20 to replace what your body is sweating out as you work. You can get a lot more done if your body has the water it needs.
Vary Tasks and Take Breaks
One of the first tasks many people take on in the spring is weeding. Those pesky plants seem to be the first to poke up after the snow melts, and spending hours pulling weeds can make your garden look great. However, it can also do a number on your back, so be sure to take a break from weeding and the bending it requires. It can also be beneficial to vary your tasks and focus on something that doesn’t put as much strain on your back, such as sitting at your potting bench and starting your new seeds.
Whether you’re mowing, raking, weeding, or planting, yard work can be a lengthy endeavor that puts a lot of stress on your body. Being mindful of the shoes and clothes you wear, how long you spend bending or stooping, and how many breaks you take can help you avoid serious low back pain. At CSI in Loveland, we can provide the treatment you need to relieve your pain, but with a few minutes of preparation and planning, you can save yourself from pain that keeps you from working in the yard.