So we hope that you have memorised and will put into practise the 7 tips we gave to help you prevent back pain when you are gardening. Not only is the way that you move and use your body important when gardening but also the tools that you use are essential to preventing back pain. The wrong tools and equipment can put excessive strain on your back, the right ones make your life easier and can prevent you from spending hours bent over a flowerbed.
1) Weeding can also be done effectively with a hoe, which can then avoid a lot of bending and kneeling on your part. There are also other tools on the market that have longer handles so you can weed standing up.
2) Use the right tools for the job e.g. if you are chopping down branches high up use a ladder (secured safely) so that you are raised up to the correct level or telescopic loppers, rather than trying to reach, grab, pull and just about manage to keep your arm high enough to chop.
3) If you have a large area that regularly needs weeding, it may be better in the long run to lay down a membrane so that weeds will be drastically reduced. It will make it much more difficult for them to root down as well, so that the weeds will lift away easily.
4) If you are lifting anything heavy e.g. buckets or bags of compost, try to split the load down and carry half a bucket load in each hand or use a wheelbarrow. This will help to spread the load and avoid uneven weight pulling on your back.
5) When using a lawn mower make sure it is set at the correct height for you. You should be able to reach your arm out and keep your wrist in a neutral position whilst keeping your arms relaxed.
Stand up tall and stay upright through your body so that you are pushing the lawnmower forwards from a strong position that is not putting unnecessary strain on your back.
If you are using a hover mower, you would be better to push it up and down rather than pull it around in the arc (as it is meant to be used). At the very very least, use as small an arch as possible and engage your stomach muscles as you work, but this movement really is best avoided. Twisting movements are one of the times that your back is most vulnerable to injury. Stay as upright as you can.