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For expert advice, please book a consultation ...

Activity in the fresh air can make us feel healthy and happy. Gardening offers both physical and mental benefits. But - frequent bending, twisting, lifting pulling and pushing may lead to back pain.

Try our top ten tips to avoid back pain whilst enjoying your garden:

1. Warm your muscles and loosen your joints before starting.

2. Gradually build up your gardening time starting with an hour or two.

3. Take small breaks every 10-20 minutes, stretching hourly.

4. Focus on time and not task.

5. Vary your tasks regularly, reducing the amount of time you spend using the same set of muscles - e.g. follow digging with mowing.

6. Dig in front of you using your foot to push the shovel into the soil. Lean into the spade from above, pushing down rather than out in front of you.

7. When raking, keep your back straight and pull the rake towards your body rather than to the side.

8. Try to swap your hands when using tools – avoiding overusing one side of the body.

9. Use a kneeling pad or cushion, and don't overreach.

10. Lift with your feet at least hip-width apart. Bend your knees, hinge yourself at your hips and keep your back straight.

Do you have niggling pains that limit your gardening?

The Shefford Osteopathic Clinic team can help to alleviate aches and pains... and ensure that you enjoy your garden as much as possible. Visit or call 01462 811006.

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