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Prevent Back Pain this Summer

With summer upon us, many of us will be spending time becoming more active around the house and garden.  If you are a keen gardener or consider yourself handy around the home, it is important that you take measures to look after your back.  Be sure to check out our top tips to prevent back pain this summer.

Warm Up:

Extra work around the house or garden often places the body into positions that it is not accustomed. Especially for those that normally spend 9 – 5 in a sedentary posture, a sudden increase in loading and twisting around the spine can lead to the development of low back pain.
Stretch and warm up before gardening or housework. This will prepare your spine for the work ahead and will help prevent injury. Try standing with your shoulders shoulder width apart and gently lean side to side prior to gardening.

Get Fit:

Having good muscle tone and general fitness significantly reduces the likelihood of back-pain. Consider a regular exercise program.  Good flexibility, core strength; muscle tone will help keep your back and spine healthy.  Strength training and clinical pilates are great ways to improve your fitness in a safe and effective fashion.  Malvern East Physiotherapy has a range of supervised exercise programs in both an individual or group setting.

Be careful when bending:

Prolonged or repeated bending overloads the lower parts of the spine.  Where possible, try to perform activities between waist to chest level.  Try placing pots on the bench to do re-potting rather than having pots on the ground or in a low position.  Another option is to use a small stool to sit on rather than bending from the spine.

Careful when lifting:

Lifting can also overload the spine.  Do not attempt to lift heavy objects on your own. Use a lifting device like a trolley if possible. If you do try and lift, try to keep your back straight, your bottom pushed out and use your legs to do the work. Minimise lifting and twisting, instead taking small steps rather than rotating whilst holding a weight. Learn to pull your belly button in slightly whilst lifting to help engage your core muscles.


Avoid performing sudden or heavy lifting after you have been sitting for prolonged periods.  For example, lifting luggage out of the car following a long car trip can significantly place your back at higher risk of injury. Similarly, prolonged sitting after heavy work can cause problems. Try standing or lying rather than sitting for prolonged periods after a session in the backyard.

Visit us for a check-up:

Visiting our expert team of physiotherapists for a check-up will determine whether you have adequate flexibility and muscle control.  Improving this can greatly improve your spinal health. Our team are highly trained to assess and treat any underlying issues that may hamper your gardening or DIY work this summer. Your physiotherapist will also provide a range of simple exercises to reduce the likelihood of injury this summer.

Try our top tips to help keep you active and prevent back pain this summer.  However, if you have hurt yourself this summer, our team at Malvern East Physiotherapy will be open throughout this Christmas and New Year period.