Gardening and its difficulties

Gardening is a passionate hobby of many people and enthusiasts. Taking care of your garden doesn’t have to be always easy. It can be often times more demanding than you would have ever thought. How to enjoy your work, and not feel any pain in the back?



Lumbago is characteristic for its sharp pain in the area of lower back. The pain is usually accompanied by unpleasant painful contraction and spasm of the surrounding muscles. This term is very general and presents various problems, which may occur. For example:

  • Muscle spasms
  • Damaged muscle fibres
  • Blocked vertebrae
  • Intervertebral disc herniation

Causes of this condition during work in the garden are usually combinations of this behavior:

  • Fast, abrupt and incorrect movement
  • Rotation while bowing
  • Lifting up object in an incorrect position
  • Long-term sitting in an incorrect position
  • One sided pressure on the spine



Make sure you have a correct ergonomy while working, so that you could enjoy your garden as long as possible without pain.

Rule no. 1

Never bend your back when you’re reaching for some object which you want to lift up when you’re bowing with your knees straight!

How to do it correctly?

Instead of bowing down, rather squat down with a straight back. The pressure on the spine is 70% lower, because bearing the burden in a straight position is natural for the spine. If you have problems with your knees, another variation is to place one of your feet backwards and spread your weight, that way you will keep your spine straight.

Rule no. 2

Do not burden your spine with long lasting forward bending pose while working! Even without burden is static position in forward bend very demanding for our spine.

How to do it correctly?

If you collect potatoes, vegetables or just getting rid of weeds, do it in a kneeling position or in a knee-bend on a small chair. If kneeling or knee-bend doesn’t do you well, change position as often as possible, and don’t stay in static position for too long. Switch the activity with other, alternatively take a break and stretch.


Rule no.3

Be careful if you constantly lift up your head and shoulder. When you pick apples or cherries from the trees avoid staying too long in position with your lumbar spine bent and arms above your head. It leads to overloading in the neck and lumbar spine.

How to do it correctly?

Choose correct tools for work you need to do. If the tree is tall, use a ladder and work in the height so that you wouldn’t have to use your shoulders towards your ears, this way your spine will remain straight.

Rule no. 4

Always work evenly both sides of your body! Involving only one side of your body increases the risk of overloading the cervical as well as lumbar spine and intervertebral discs. Having the correct tools for working applies here as well.


Working in the garden is usually demanding, and even if you pay attention and work according to correct principles of ergonomy, body needs to rest and regeneration. Don’t forget to stretch your body after you’re done working, focus especially on the cervical spine area and legs. You will find tips for a correct stretching in our article: How to deal with shortened muscles.

And if back pain is already troubling you, read also about:

FYZIOklinika physiotherapy Ltd., Prague, Czech Republic
Source: Clinical experience from a private practice in physiotherapeutic field, FYZIOklinika

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