I had a new patient come into the office the other week who is in relatively good shape and had no prior episodes of back pain, but, when he was in his yard the weekend before doing typical gardening chores, he felt a “pop” in his back while leaning forward to pull out a root which was immediately followed by a sharp pain and muscle spasms. Luckily, he came in for chiropractic care right away and, after a few sessions of treatment, he is feeling great again. Moral of the story…even though you think you may be in “good shape”, you too can be susceptible to acute episodes of back pain if you are not limbered up before doing certain activities. The following tips come from the May 2012 ChiroHealth Newsletter provided by ChiroVoice.org.
Prepare for Garden-Variety Exercise

Now that spring is finally here, you’re no doubt going to spend time planting bulbs, mowing the lawn and pulling weeds. Yard work can provide a great workout, but with all the bending, twisting, reaching and pulling, your body may not be ready for exercise of the garden variety. Try these stretches to help your body prepare for a spent in the garden.

  • While sitting, prop your heel on a stool or step, keeping the knees straight. Lean forward until you feel a stretch in the back of the thigh, or the hamstring muscle. Hold this position for 15 seconds. Repeat on the other side.
  • Stand up, balance yourself, and grab the front of your ankle from behind. Pull your heel toward your buttocks and hold the position for 15 seconds. Repeat on the other leg.
  • While standing, weave your fingers together above your head with the palms up. Lean to one side for 10 seconds, then to the other. Repeat this stretch three times.
  • Wrap your arms around yourself and rotate to one side, stretching as far as you can comfortably go. Hold for 10 seconds and reverse. Repeat two or three times.