1 (205) 386-6182 info@fertilizerforless.com

Gardening Tips – Dealing With Lower Back Pain

Many of us constantly experience intense back pain right after gardening. Most likely, it’s the excessive core movements that we perform while gardening, often without keeping lifting techniques in mind. We twist and turn our bodies during many gardening activities, and this can be quite tiring for our lower back muscles and a major stress to the health of our spine. This is why many of us endure additional lower back pain alongside with knee pain and other physical ailments after gardening. Leg muscles turn to jelly and our knees ache, sometimes it seems like our whole bodies are sore for days.

The discomfort in our joints doesn’t get any better with age either…

How do we avoid the intense back pain that can result after our gardening? It’s important to stretch before any physical activity, of course, but with gardening it is equally important to pay attention to how you’re being active. Are you bending over too much and might it be better to switch to tabletop gardening, or at least some raised beds with a good place to sit and work? Working so close to the ground can put a lot of strain and pressure on the spine. Other activities can be just as demanding…

Is your tiller too difficult to operate and would it be wise to upgrade to a newer model? We should think of buying new equipment, even if it is expensive because it can’t compare in cost to back surgery!

Back Pain Medication – The Solution?

To most people, the answer to these questions would be open and shut. However, some specific conditions make opting for back pain medication much more complex. Over the counter NSAID type medicines are contraindicated for many, and opioid drugs can be risky as we all know from the headlines about the opioid epidemic in recent years.

Back pain is a common condition that can affect people of all ages. In fact, nearly 80% of the population will suffer from some sort of lower back pain at some point in their lives. Many of those experience symptoms after a car accident or other injury, and need help restoring normal musculoskeletal function in the lower back. This is why there are a number of at-home, alternative treatments that can help people alleviate lower back pain caused by gardening or any other number of activities. Today, we will look at two that are widely regarded as helpful to both the body and the mind. Let’s take a look!

Applying Cold

Conversely, people also frequently use ice packs and towels to tackle mild lower back pain. The benefits of each vary by the cause of the back pain, so it may be best to see which one you respond well to. If you choose to do both, apply cold first and then follow it up with heat. The cold will help deal with any inflammation while the heat next kicks in to provide blood flow and loosen up those sore, overworked muscles. This is the body’s own way of taking back control of the issue and decreasing the intensity of back pain after gardening.

Applying Heat

Heat is often applied to minimize pain. The optimum temperature to follow is around 138 degrees Fahrenheit. You can use a heating pad available at your local retail store or online. Another option is to simply fill a sock or pillowcase with a cup of dry rice, tie it off so the rice does not spill, and then place it in the microwave for 1 minute. Adjust the time if needed based on your microwave’s wattage.

An ice pack makes a good option for many minor back issues.
A heat pack can also be good for the lower back.

Physical Therapy?

For persistent pain that can’t be relieved through over the counter means, your doctor may decide that it’s best to start with the least invasive treatment option possible.  Often, that means a referral to a physical therapist. These medical professionals are licensed specialists who use many modalities including the application of heat, cold, and electrical muscle stimulation to help with back and spine issues. Treatment may also include an exercise plan and stretches to help you strengthen your back muscles.

Physical Therapy Often Involves Exercises Like This Person Working With a Resistance Band.

Image Source: Crafted Physical Therapy

Active muscles are designed to be active! They are the core of our strength, allowing the spine to be held in good posture throughout the day. But as gardening enthusiasts we all tend to overdo it a bit in the Spring, don’t we? Overload these muscles through excessive bending and moving while gardening, and the resulting back pain can linger for weeks without professional help to strengthen and restore function to the soft tissue. If you or someone you know is suffering from a back injury such as this, it’s advisable to schedule an appointment with an Orthopedists that specializes in spine and disk issues as soon as possible.

Another option is to also seek out chiropractic care. As part of the rehabilitation process, spinal manipulation is often performed by a licensed Dr. of Chiropractic care in an outpatient setting. Your Chiropractic Dr. may also suggest acupuncture therapy in some cases, depending on the health of your spine. 

Want to Avoid Surgery? Get it Checked Out Sooner Than Later!

Things are much easier to manage if they are corrected at an early stage, so seek medical attention sooner than later if you think your gardening activities may have caused an injury!