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Gardeners and Sciatica

Gardeners and Sciatica

With spring in the air I was asked if I had any tips for gardeners if sciatica can sometimes get in the way.

There is a tendency for us to get a little carried away once we have got the bit between our teeth and we then wake up the next day with aches and pains.

Quite often we will have strained our muscle through over working them and I have come across a number of people who have developed repetitive strain injuries (RSI) of the thumb joint or wrist, usually through getting carried away with either the pruning shears or the fork and trowel.

If you are hitting the garden her are 8 tips to stay back pain free and keep sciatica at bay.

  1. Decide on one job in the garden and just do that (no distractions).
  2. Be strict with yourself and only do one hour at a time and then have a break before starting on your next task.
  3. It is very important that you invest in the right equipment for doing the task, e.g. long handled tools (shears, hoe, hand forks and trowels) to stop you over reaching.
  4. Get a good wheel barrow to move things around the garden and stop carrying heavy trugs, bags of compost and potted plants.
  5. Wear the right clothing to keep warm and dry, including good gloves and kneeling pads.
  6. Invest in good power tools such as soil tillers, hedge trimmers, scarifiers etc.
  7. Have a portable garden stool to reduce the amount of squatting and bending.
  8. Think about creating raised beds to reduce bending.

If you’re really struggling consider having a wild flower meadow lawn! Although tongue in cheek, in actual fact this is a good idea, as it has a number of benefits.

  • Because wild flower meadows are low maintenance this reduces a lot of stress on our bodies, especially our backs. Planting flowerbeds, and mowing lawns can put a lot of strain on our joints, particularly our knees and backs.
  • It is very good for the ecology, because it is good for insects, especially bees which are in decline but also for other pollinators and therefore for wild birds who feed on these insects.
  • Wild flowers bring a beautiful array of colour into the garden throughout the year.

Nice idea but not appealing to those of us who like our beautifully organised gardens. If you don’t fancy the wild flower meadow look be sure to follow the tips above. I hope you continue to enjoy your gardens pain-free.

All the best, Ian

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