Spring break for our body!

Spring break for our body!
June 1, 2016 Yvon Robert

We’ve all done it. No sooner has the first ray of sunlight shyly crossed our window, we rush outside for the yearly ritual of spring cleanup, eager to finally enjoy summer in the lush and flowery hinterland of our back yards. But in our enthusiasm, we often forget the toll sudden spring cleaning can take on our limber bodies barely out of hibernation. Rakes, shovels paint brushes and wheelbarrows although helpful, aren`t always our best friend. In fact, the repetitive movements and restrictive positions they force on us can be cruel to our spine, muscles and joints. So here are a few tricks to enjoy spring without spending summer on your back.

What causes injuries?

  • Most gardening activities involve stretching, extreme bending and awkward rotation movements – sometimes all three at once to get to that nasty weed!
  • Carrying heavy objects, bending over frequently or using gardening tools incorrectly can cause muscular distress and back pain.
  • The injuries can also be caused by the lack of warm-up before physical activity, a posture held for too long or simply by wanting to cram too much work into one day.

Spring break shouldn`t break your back

First, warm up

Before starting anything, it is recommended you warm up your body with small movements that increase blood supply to your muscles and joints, to boost muscular strength and reduce the risk of injury.

  • Begin your warm-up with a little stationary walking.
  • Then slowly stretch the neck, shoulders, wrists, back, and legs in an upright position.
  • Pretend you’re sitting down on a chair about 20 times (squats).
  • Still in a standing position, move your arms in small circular motions, bend your knees and rotate your torso in circles.
  • Hold each movement about 20 to 30 seconds and repeat 3 times.

Go gradually

  • Don’t try to do everything in one weekend! Spring cleanup is a big job and should be spread over several weeks.
  • At the beginning, plan two-hour gardening sessions at a time.
  • Start with the smaller tasks that require less strength, and then move on to the heavier jobs like carrying a wheelbarrow full of earth.
  • Keep in mind that your body is at higher risk of injury when not ready or tired, in other words at the beginning and at the end of the workday.

Get the right moves

  • Avoid bending over to pick up or lift an object. Instead, bend your knees and keep your back straight.
  • If you have to kneel down, use a cushion or knee pads for more comfort. Place them under the tibia, not under the kneecaps, to avoid excessive pressure on this delicate joint.
  • If you remain in a bent over position for over 15 minutes, wait at least one minute upright before lifting anything, to straighten your spine.
  • Put all your tools in one easy to carry toolbox. This way, you won’t need to walk to the garage or shed repeatedly.
  • Change position frequently and take breaks.
  • Stop all activity if you feel a sharp pain.
  • When you’re done, stretch again.
  • At the end of the day, soaking in a warm bath to relax your muscles or taking a small walk around the neighbourhood are recommended. Both help excrete toxins – culprits of those awful next-day aches and pains.

Reinforcements to the rescue

Whether you already suffer from lower back pain or if you hurt yourself during your spring cleaning – wearing a support belt will allow you to continue gardening without exacerbating the condition.

For more information:
http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hl-vs/iyh-vsv/life-vie/garden-jardin-fra.php
http://www.passeportsante.net/fr/Actualites/Nouvelles/Fiche.aspx?doc=2009032636_des-conseils-pour-jardiner-sans-se-blesser
http://www.motionmatters.ca/mm_stayingwell/swgarden_f.cfm

Suggested products

  • Image_WEB_9218-19

    Athletic Support

    ,

    DESIGNED TO PREVENT INJURIES BY PROVIDING CONSTANT AND COMFORTABLE SUPPORT DURING ACTIVITIES OF MODERATE INTENSITY

    Its wide waistband prevents roll up while leg straps keep support in place and provide proper fit.

    Characteristics :
    • Wide elastic waistband (3”/ 7.5 cm) prevents roll up
    • Velcro®-type closures for easy adjustment
    • Soft and comfortable pouch
    • Elastic leg straps maintain support in place
    • Colour: white

    Indications :

    • Post-surgery
    • Vasectomy
    • Testicular tumor
    • Sports (jogging, racquet sports, ball sports, hockey, etc.)
    • Heavy duty

    Adjustment :

    Put on the athletic support and attach the Velcro® closures.  Adjust for comfort.

    Made of :

    Waistband and leg straps: elastic.

    Pouch: knitted polyester.

    Cleaning :

    Hand wash in cold water.  Dry flat.

  • Image_WEB_9641

    Prevention Worker’s Belt

    ,
    Designed to support abdominal muscles, and promote correct positioning and proper lifting. The Prevention™ Worker’s Belt is recommended to reduce the risks of lower back pain due to sprains, lumbago or muscle spasms. It may also be used to improve posture. Wearing the PREVENTION™ worker’s belt does not interfere with muscle contraction. Characteristics
    • Removable suspenders enable workers to loosen the belt without removing it
    • Flexible stays provide support
    • Does not interfere with muscle contraction
    • Moderate support
    • Easy adjustment
    • Colour: black
    Made of: 58% Polyester, 30% Elastic, 10% Nylon, 2% Spandex Indications
    • Prevention during heavy lifting
    • Worker who risk injury to the lower back during risky tasks
     
  • Image_WEB_92822

    Posture Plus Support Belt

    ,
    Designed to improve intra-abdominal tension and decrease the strain on the spine. The Posture Plus™ belt relocates the center of gravity and limits the torsion movements of the lumbo-sacral region. Supports the spine in sacrum and lumbar and keeps the abdominal muscles compact to strengthen the core of the body. Recommended to support lumbar region while lifting objects as well as to help relieve lumbar pains caused by poor posture in long-hours sitting positions. Characteristics
    • Light and comfortable
    • Includes a removable compression pad
    • Supports the spine in sacrum and lumbar and keeps the abdominal muscles compact to strengthen the core of the body
    • Does not restrain muscle contraction
    • Light support
    • Easy adjustment
    • Velcro®-type closures
    Made of: 60% Polyester, 27% Elastic and 13% Nylon Indications
    • Lower chronic back pain
    • Discopathy
    • Postural compensation
    • Do not use the pad at sacrum if spondylosis or spondylolisthesis known