3 ways to keep gardening with back pain

African descent grandmother and grandchild gardening in outdoor vegetable garden in spring or summer season. Cute little boy enjoys planting new flowers and vegetable plants.

(NC) Gardening is a favourite leisure activity for many of us, providing hours of relaxation, de-stressing and outdoor enjoyment. But if back pain, mobility issues or a health condition is getting in the way, don’t be discouraged. There are many things you can do to continue your hobby.

1. Start with a warmup
While it may not always feel like it, gardening is a physical activity, so just like any exercise it’s good practice to warm up before you start. A five-minute walk and some light stretches will help prime your body for extended periods of sitting and squatting. Be sure to consult your health care provider for warm-ups best suited to you.

2. Use the right tools
Simple things like cushions, kneelers and chairs can help you move and sit more comfortably and reduce the strain on your back and knees. Specialized tools like garden scooters and long-handled trowels and cultivators can help you when bending forward.

3. Check in with an expert
A health-care professional like an occupational therapist can assess your needs and help you develop strategies to adapt so you can continue doing the activities you love. They’ll work with you to find the right approaches to help you keep tending to your flower beds, plants and produce.

You can find an OT through the College of Occupational Therapists. The College works to protect you and your family by ensuring all licensed OTs are trained and qualified to offer safe, competent and ethical services.

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