As a practicing chiropractor of 38 years, experience helps me to observe certain trends. Currently it is late April where I live in Western Pennsylvania. Every year at this time I see patients coming to my office suffering from lower back pain due to what I call “The 3 G’s Of Springtime.” These three activities that begin with the letter “G”: Golfing, Grass cutting, and Gardening tend to get people in trouble. Since knowledge and precaution are valuable, this article will discuss why the Three G;s cause back pain and what you can do to prevent back discomfort from happening to you.
Golf. Many golfers experience lower back pain. To prevent this don’t let your enthusiasm to get the season started lead you into back problems. Remember you haven’t had much, or any golf activity over the winter. Muscles, ligaments and back joints should be engaged gradually. Don’t go to the driving range and hit 500 balls the first day. Instead take only enough golf swings to feel like you had a mild workout. Build and progress slowly and steadily by degrees, until you are back in shape to play that usual round of golf you enjoy.
Grass cutting. Don’t feel you have to do the entire yard in one session. It might be better to do your cuttings over a couple or a few days. If cutting grass is too much for you to do and you always hurt your back, I’ll give you the same permission I’ve given many patients. Hire a landscaper. I’ve had many patients tell me it was the best advice they’ve ever taken. There is no shame in having someone else cut your lawn if it saves you visits to the chiropractor.
Gardening. Gardening typically involves a lot of stooping and bending at the waist. Normally we can perform these movements without harm. There is one time of the day however when it is best to apply a degree of caution. The first hour after awakening our bodies are not sufficiently warmed up for extreme physical exertion. This especially applies to the lower back. It is best to stretch your back for a while early in the day. Then, do some lighter work activities to help you warm up. Following a slow and reasonable first hour routine will go a long way to avoid lower back pain. Another helpful tip to prevent low back discomfort is to apply a cold pack to the lower back for 20 minutes after you have finished gardening to reduce inflammation.
It’s important to be reasonable and prudent with the Three G’s Of Springtime. It’s no fun to start this wonderful time of year being debilitated by a lower back problem. By following the ideas and suggestion noted you can have a fun and productive outdoor season.