Back-Friendly Tips for Yard Work Yesterday, we shared some of our best summer safety tips, and included in this was a look at gardening safety! Now it's time to go into more detail, because whether you love it, hate it or feel impartial to it, yard work is a part of most adults' lives. It's important to take the proper precautions against muscle strain.

Since prevention is the best approach, Chiro One Wellness Centers offer the following tips to help you enjoy a safe, productive day of landscaping, gardening or yard work.

  • When gardening, use properly cushioned pads to support your knees. Check your local garden supply store for specially made pads for yard work. The pads will not only offer relief on your knees, but they may help to improve your body position which will decrease the likelihood of injury.
  • If you are breaking ground with a hoe or another garden tool, moisten the soil first to make the job easier on you and your back.
  • If you’re using mechanical equipment, such as a motorized trimmer, make sure it has a strap—and that you use it. Place the strap over your head onto your shoulder; the strap should be on the opposite side of your body from the device. This will help normalize your center of gravity.
  • Be sure to switch the side on which you are operating the equipment as often as possible. To balance the muscles being used, alternate your stance and motion frequently.
  • Consider using electric-powered items—especially if you experience back or neck pain—as they tend to be lighter than their engine-powered counterparts.
  • When picking up or putting down your equipment, be sure to bend from the knees, not at the waist.
  • Keep the equipment as close to your body as possible as you lift, not at arm’s length.
  • It’s extremely important that you prepare your body for the work you are about to do. To help avoid injury, be sure to include a warm-up and cool-down period that involves stretching.
Back-Friendly Tips for Yard Work

Before stretching, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Breathe in and out slowly throughout each stretching exercise
  • Stretch gently and smoothly
  • Don’t bounce or jerk your body in any way or push your limits
  • You should not feel pain when stretching

Always remember to take breaks, stay hydrated and enjoy your time outside.