DIY, Gardening and related Injuries

Spring is here, the weather is warmer and people often want to get out gardening and attending to DIY projects. I have been seeing a lot of presenting problems related to such activities, mainly lower back pain (disc, ligament and muscle injuries). People most at risk are those who have been relatively sedentary during the cooler months and may have spent a few hours too many doing jobs around the house and garden.
Preventing lower back pain;

1) Try not to spend more than 20 minutes in the same position. Get up, move around and have a stretch for a few minutes before returning to your activity.
Try the lumbar spine twist stretch. Lying flat on your back, cross one leg over the other by twisting your hips and spine. Keep your opposite arm outstretched. Hold for 1 min on each side.

2) Correct your lifting techniques.

• Avoid lifting heavy objects.
• Position your body square on to the object being lifted, never twist.
• Bend the knees rather than the back.
• Contract the deep abdominal muscles – one way to do this is to squeeze your stomach inwards and hold. Keep the load close to the body to reduce the weight and lever-arm.
• Do not twist when you put the weight back down.

3) Strengthen your core

Go on to all fours, and keep good posture.
Draw your tummy inwards (towards the ceiling). Straighten your arm in front of you, and your opposite leg behind you.
This exercise works the deep abdominal muscles.

If you have an injury to your back and would like an appointment with the Osteopath, or if you would like some further advise, contact Zeinah on 9938 1090.

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