Gardening tips to protect your back.

5 Tips to help prevent injury when working in your garden or on landscaping this Spring.

By: Dr. Matt Dopps

1. Listen to your body. It's best to take breaks every 15-30 minutes ideally if possible.

2. Avoid excessive bending, or maintaining a bent position for extended periods. This puts high levels of stress on your spine, which can lead to injury.

3. Be careful with twisting maneuvers This is most important especially when lifting or lowering things. Work on the plants or the ground in front of you not to the sides. Twisting maneuvers, like reaching behind you, or to the side puts significantly more stress on your spine and can increase your risk injury.

4. Consider using a bucket to sit on for certain jobs When you are sitting on a bucket, be sure to position yourself so that the weight of your body is supported through your pelvic bones equally, and not leaning to one side or the other. Be mindful of awkward positions in which your muscles are doing the work to hold you up.

5. Lift with your legs, and if you are carrying anything over 10 lbs keep it held close to your body if possible, this helps decrease leverage and stress on your spine.

Bending/lifting and awkward positions are the top two things to keep in mind at all times while gardening or working on landscaping to help prevent injury.

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