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The Dirt on Gardening Injuries

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With the summer months comes an increase in various activities, such as yard work, that can cause new pains or aggravate old recurring injuries. Lower back pain, caused by a herniated disk, stenosis, or muscle aches can make gardening a tough chore. Those with back pain often shy away from these activities or try to work through the pain.

3DPT GardenLearning how to stand, move, and work in ways that will decrease stress around the lumbar spine will help to reduce the risk of aggravating your low back pain. When walking try to maintain a slight arch in the lower back while keeping your abs tight, and don't slouch. Use correct postures when doing garden chores such as raking, shoveling, hoeing, etc.

Always bend at the knees, and never from the waist! Follow these tips when lifting a large or heavy object:

  • Position your feet shoulder-width apart, close to the object
  • Squat or bend at the knees
  • Tighten stomach muscles
  • Hold the object close to your body so that the thigh muscles are doing most of the work
  • Slowly lift by straightening knees.
  • Lower these heavy objects by reversing this process.

Be careful when pushing or pulling heavy objects:

  • Use arm or leg muscles and not the back.
  • Never use erratic, twisting, or rough movements; take your time and move slowly.
  • Let your equipment and tools do the job for you.

3DPT GardeningExercise can also have many benefits for individuals with low back pain including prevention of farther injury or reduction of current pain level. Maintaining flexibility and fitness level prevent muscles and tissues around the injury from tightening up, which can increase susceptibility to strain. Exercise can also strengthen the muscles that support the back and reduce the likelihood of re-injury.

The physical therapists at 3DPT specialize in creating individualized exercise programs for patients of all fitness levels by analyzing your current movement patterns. Call us today to schedule an appointment and take control of your low back pain before it takes control of you!

Ryan McDevitt, DPT
Ken Guzzardo, PT, DPT, OCS, SCS
Jeff Sallade, PT, MSPT, OCS, SCS, CSCS

3 Dimensional Physical Therapy

175 Route 70, Suite 19

Medford, NJ 08055


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"The team at 3DPT is made up of dedicated and caring Physical Therapists whose expertise and hands-on approach are what I seek for my patients. It is their fundamental philosophy that has made my professional experiences with them nothing short of exemplary."

     -      Dr. Kathryn Gollotto, DO - Orthopedic Reconstruction Specialists