Plant and Rake without the Ache

It’s time to get set to garden. 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.

Gardening Dos
• Kneel, don’t bend to plant.
• Change your body position often.
• Take frequent breaks.
• Alternate between light and heavy chores.
• Drink lots of water. Stay hydrated!
• Warm up with 5 to 10 minutes of gentle activity that gets you moving, like a short walk or even walking on the spot.

How to Lift Right
• Keep your back straight and bend your knees.
• Carry the load close to your body.
• Avoid heavy lifting immediately after bending or kneeling.

Stretch Before and After

Before you get started, repeat each of the following stretches five times if possible. If your time is tight, select and repeat the stretches that help you the most. Then, after gardening, use some or all of these stretches to cool down.

Upper Body Stretches

For Your Sides, Arms and Shoulders:
1. Extend your right arm over your head.
2. Bend to the left from your waist.
3. Hold for 15 seconds and repeat on the other side.
4. Hug yourself snugly to stretch your arms.

For Your Back:
1. In a seated position, bend forward from your 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 try to hold 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 your waist and reach toward your toes.
4. Hold for 15 seconds.

How a Chiropractor Can Help

If, in spite of all precautions, you do experience back pain or a muscle strain that lasts for more than two or three days, consider visiting a chiropractor. Your chiropractor can help you get back to doing the things you enjoy, like gardening.
A chiropractor is a regulated, community-based, health care professional, who provides patient-centred, non-invasive, hands-on care. They’re experts in assessing, diagnosing and treating spine, muscle, joint and related nerve conditions/injuries, as well as helping prevent them. Treatment may include various therapies, such as spinal manipulation therapy (adjustment), therapeutic exercise, acupuncture, and lifestyle counselling, as appropriate to the diagnosis.
Regulated health professions in Ontario are governed under the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991 (RHPA) and health profession acts (e.g., Medicine Act, 1991).

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.

Front cover of gardening trifold pamphlet

To download our printable, 8½” x 11″ tri-fold pamphlet Get Set to Garden: Protect yourself from injury while gardening, click on the download link/button below.  Please note, there’s also a space on the back panel for chiropractors to include their clinic details.
Important Printing Notes:
– When printing this Get Set to Garden pamphlet, please select the ‘flip on short edge’ option in your print settings to ensure it prints correctly.

– The version should be clear and easy to print in your office. However, if you are having it professionally printed and would like an even higher resolution version (larger file size), please contact
Download File