5 Tips for Summer Gardening

This year has been different to say the least, but the good news is for many of us we’ve had an opportunity to get back to the basics. Walking, hiking, enjoying new hobbies and gardening have all become a big part of maintaining our mental wellness.

With this being said, it’s not unusual for people to overdo it as well. Improving, changing, or starting a garden has become a more popular activity – which has led to an increase in physical activity, which also means an increase in aches and pains if you aren’t being careful.

I’ve compiled a few tips to help you maximize your love for gardening while minimizing the risk of experiencing pain. 

Warm up/Stretch

Many of us have gone from not having time to engage in hours of gardening a day, to having nothing but time to replot our entire yards. Our bodies simply aren’t accustomed to so much activity, or to this type of activity. Just as we would prepare our bodies for a new workout, we must prepare our bodies for gardening. All it takes are a few light stretches and some moving to ensure we are not going to cause an injury. Ask you chiropractor what the best course of action is for you before proceeding, it’s better to be proactive rather than reactive!

Drink Water

Staying hydrated is one of the most important steps when working outside. It’s easy to lose track of time, and dehydration can become serious very quickly. Always ensure you have water with you and take a break every 20-30 minutes. Set an alarm on your phone as a reminder, and it wouldn’t hurt to have a stretch with every water break. 

Take Breaks

Speaking of water breaks, breaks in general are important. Gardening is strenuous work, and it’s likely you’ll get caught up in completing tasks and lose track of time.  Pay attention to your body’s cues, and ensure you are pacing yourself and snacking throughout the day. If you use a timer, set it for every 20-30 minutes so you can have a washroom break, drink some water, stretch, have a snack and get your blood circulating. 

Be Mindful of Large Loads

Bags of soil, mulch, and carrying large planters are a recipe for a back injury if you aren’t careful. If you must, ensure you are bending at the knees and at your waist. Use your legs to do the heavy lifting rather than your back.  Best case scenario, you’ll have a wheel barrow or a buggy to transfer heavy items to the garden. If available, have someone help you with the lifting.

And whatever you do, do not lift a heavy item and twist – this can lead to pinched nerves, muscle injuries, and pain that can take weeks to relieve.

Move From Task to Task

Instead of concentrating on one job at a time, move around the garden and vary your tasks to avoid holding the same position for extended periods of time. This will also allow you to keep your circulation moving and prevent cramping.

Overall, gardening is a great use of your time. It allows you to feel productive, you’ll be spending time outdoors, you’ll keep moving, and you’ll hopefully have the garden of your dreams by the time you’re finished. All of these tasks are great for your body and your mental wellness when you are outside of your regular routine.

If you run into trouble with sudden pain, achiness that is outside of the norm, or require some guidance with stretches and movements to help you remain agile – call your local Chiropractor to see how they can assist you.

I hope you’ll learn a lot about your outdoor space, and will enjoy the process. Happy gardening!

 

Shoulder Pain and Chiropractic

Most of us will experience some sort of shoulder pain in our lives, and it’s how we respond to it that makes the difference between risking further injury or a complete recovery. A Chiropractor is a pivotal member of your health care team when healing shoulder injuries.   

What’s Going On?

The most common injuries involve the rotator cuff. The majority of injuries related to the rotator cuff are a result of repetitive strains that occur over long periods of time. The pain is generally localized in the front and outside of the shoulder, sometimes radiating down the arm. You may experience difficulty lifting your arm or sleeping.

What A Chiropractor Will Do

We will take a look at your overall health first, not just determining what’s happening with your shoulder directly, but assessing your lifestyle, diet, and exercise. The integrated approach will help us determine the best care options for your shoulder pain. You will discuss symptoms, recreational activities, health history, work, and lifestyle before determining the best course of action.

Aside from adjustments, we can recommend other types of treatments for relieving the pain. These can include massage, ice packs, traction, or strengthening and stretching exercises. This holistic approach will ensure the best results with the least amount of risk and medication. 

There are Many Types of Shoulder Pain

These are the most common causes of shoulder pain, all of which will require a individualized plan for care:

  • Bursitis
  • Shoulder Dislocation
  • Shoulder Instability
  • Rotator Cuff Tendonitis
  • Rotator Cuff Tear