Plant and rake without the ache. Gardening is a great way for you to stay active and have fun in the sun. Unfortunately, many Ontarians sustain gardening injuries that can be easily prevented with a little know-how. To tend your garden and protect yourself from injury, follow these tips to loosen up and lighten the load on your back.


Loosen up before you start to garden and protect yourself from injury

Warm-up
Before you begin any physical activity, warming up is your first step to prevent an injury. Take a walk, even on the spot. Ten to 15 minutes should do it. Don’t forget to lift your knees and gently swing your arms.

Stretch before you start
To plant and rake without the ache, do each of these stretches for your upper and lower body five times. Don’t bounce, jerk or strain. Stretches should be gentle and should not cause pain.


Upper Body Stretches

For Your Sides

  1. Extend your right arm over your head.
  2. Bend to the left from the waist.
  3. Hold for 15 seconds and repeat on the other side.

For Your Arms and Shoulders

  1. Hug yourself snugly.
  2. Slowly rotate at the waist as far as is comfortable to the left, then to the right.

For Your Back

  1. In a seated position, bend forward from the hips, keeping your head down.
  2. Reach for the ground.

Lower Body Stretches

For Your Thighs

  1. Face a wall or tree and support yourself against it with one arm.
  2. Bend your right knee and grasp your ankle or pant leg with your left hand.
  3. Hold for 15 seconds and repeat on the other side.

For Your Hamstrings

  1. Stand.
  2. Reach your hands to the sky.
  3. Then bend at the waist and reach toward your toes.
  4. Hold for 15 seconds.

To tend your garden and protect yourself from injury:

  • Kneel, don’t bend, to plant
  • Change your body position often
  • Take frequent breaks
  • Alternate between light and heavy chores
  • Drink lots of water

If you suffer an injury, visit a chiropractor so you can get back to doing the things you love to do like gardening.

To find a chiropractor near you, use the chiropractor locator on our website. In Ontario, you can visit a chiropractor without a referral from a doctor, nurse practitioner or other health care professional. If you already have a chiropractor and/or another health care professional, join our Partnership4BetterHealth online patient advisory community. Then, you can share your ideas on how to enhance chiropractic services and make a positive impact on our health care system. It’s confidential, free, and always your choice to participate.