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Every spring I get an influx of people with lower back pain shuffling into my treatment room – and the reason is all too common – they’ve spent the whole weekend weeding and doing good works in the garden and now they’re paying for it.

Unfortunately, this time of year weeds pop up than we can blink. So here are my four golden rules for looking after your back whilst you look after your garden:

  1. Change position regularly – swap between kneeling, sitting, crouching and bending over. Alternate positions often and take frequent breaks where you stand up and stretch.
  2. Stop twisting and reaching – move your whole body closer and into a better position.
  3. Do less, more often – don’t spend the whole of your Sunday bent over pulling out weeds. Set a timer so that you only do about an hour at a time. If you’re like me and suffer from ‘just one more’ then have it be something you have to go and do in an hour. My go to is to put a load of my massage towels in the washing machine and when I hear it finish, I have to stop and hang them out.
  4. Warm up before – get everything moving, especially your back. If you’re familiar with it, cat/cow stretch from yoga is perfect to do and it’s one of my favourite stretches in general. If you’ve got no idea what I’m talking about check out this video:

After care!

If you’ve followed all these suggestions and still find yourself with a bit of a stiff back afterwards there’s a few things you can do. Try the cat/cow stretch as well as some gentle spine twists. You can also lie on your back and bring your knees to chest with some gentle rocking side to side. Otherwise, pop a heat pack or hot water bottle on your lower back and rest for a bit.

If it’s still sore, you can book in to see me and as always, do let me know if you have any questions.

Take care of yourself,


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