Gardening can be a joyful, therapeutic and rewarding activity. Growing your own plants can be fairly cheap, help stretch your budget and promote healthy living. It can empower us when we develop a scientific understanding of horticulture and there is nothing quite like the reward of a bountiful harvest or enjoying a beautiful nature landscape at the end of it. If you are a seasoned gardener, have just taken it up as a hobby, or gardening is your career then there is a need to protect your body. This requires some conscious thought so you can continue reaping the benefits of this ancient pastime.

Back pain and sciatica are common gardening related cases seen in the treating rooms. The word sciatica generally refers to pain stemming from the back which radiates down the leg. The pain can be due to tension along any part of the pathway of where the sciatic nerve runs.  Back pain and sciatica can flare up at any time during your gardening session. Keeping the following tips in mind before and during gardening will encourage a stronger back and aid controlling sciatica symptoms.

  • Warm up and stretch before you start your gardening and keep warm during the session
  • Keep your core engaged to support your back when lifting
  • Consider your posture, breathe and relax – release any pent up tension you have been carrying
  • Change positions regularly, so there is no repetitive strain

Remember if you do feel back pain or sciatica see a physiotherapist. They will help you to recover from pain and give you the tools to manage your condition.

By Olivia Geggie