6 Gardening tips to avoid Sciatica Back Pain

Few things are better than taking in the fruits of your labor after a long day of gardening. There’s something special about the way the fresh mulch smells and how the flowers and plants are perfectly aligned and, of course, there are no pesky weeds to deter from the picturesque scene. The beauty of your perfectly coifed garden may seem to fade if your activities also caused some back pain and sciatica flare up.

Sciatica is no doubt one of the more painful spine conditions. Sciatica is caused from the compression of the sciatic nerve, which is generally brought on by bone spurs or a herniated or bulging disc. Typically those who experience sciatica symptoms experience pain in their low back that radiates down the back of the leg and knee. Its symptoms, though, can also be controlled for the most part. You just have to make sure you’re watching how you move – especially when you’re gardening.

Here are six tips to get you through the gardening season without a sciatica flare up.

Keep warm:

Don’t let your muscles get cold. Even though gardening isn’t considered a strenuous activity, it’s still not for the faint of heart – or muscles. It’s important to prepare your muscles regardless of your activity. Take 15 to 20 minutes before you start gardening to stretch your muscles to help keep them limber and warm.

Take your time:

We live in a fast-paced world, so it’s easy to take something as relaxing as gardening and put it on a quick timetable. Just remember to take your time when you’re in the garden. This will enable you to more fully appreciate the nature around you, reflect on your life and keep you from injuring yourself.

Consider your posture:

We tend to let our posture slip into slouching in almost everything we do. Take this time to really pamper your back by practicing good posture while gardening. Make sure you use your core muscles to support your back and try not to hunch.

Get some cushion:

The ground is tough, there’s no need to ruin your knees on hard soil. Use a knee pad for added support and cushion. A knee pad will also help to alleviate low back pain while gardening.

Use proper lifting:

If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it 100 times – don’t lift with your back, lift with your knees! In reality, if what you’re lifting is more than 10 to 20 pounds, you should use a wheelbarrow to help displace some of the weight. Make sure you don’t overburden your back by lifting heavy items.

Switch it up:

Don’t use just one side of your body to do all the heavy lifting. Make sure you transfer the shovel or other tool to the other arm every once in a while. This will help in avoiding a sciatica flare up.

Now you’ve got all the tools you need to approach gardening without the fear of inducing sciatica flare up. The best thing you can do for your back is to stay active and gardening is a great way to keep moving!

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