Meriel Davis our in-house chiropractor gives us tips on how to get through summer without a back spasm.
Summer’s a great time, sun is shining (sometimes), birds are singing, friends are playing on the beach or in the park and people get out in their gardens and start lifting pots and pulling weeds. The most common seasonal problem I see at this time of year is a back spasm as a result of gardening.
Why is this? Well, for a lot of people the winter time can be fairly sedentary. People spend more time in doors sitting down and then suddenly the sun shines and it gets warmer and bam…out in the garden they go.
With no prior warming up and using a spine that’s essentially a bit compressed people massively challenge the stability of their own backs by putting unusual forces through it (which is the nature of gardening). The back can’t cope with this new task at hand and so to protect itself the muscles spasm!
So a back spasm is not really the problem (although it can be painful when it happens). It’s actually the weeks and months of de-conditioning beforehand that’s the problem. So before you start digging up a tree think about what movements you’ve been putting through your body recently. If you’ve been keeping fairly active with minimal sitting down or repetition in moments you should be ok..but if this is your first proper exertion you absolutely must avoid bending the spine. Instead use your knees and hips. Crouch, lunge, squat, lie down…but don’t bend forward and yank a stubborn weed.
To have a great summer with minimal back problems it’s all about planning and being pro-active. The more you keep yourself fit, strong, supple and happy the less likely you’ll get problems. FACT. So keep up with activity, don’t down-regulate over winter regular yoga, chiropractic and massage will help keep you at an optimum.