Back problems brought on by gardening activity are the most common reason for missed days of work. The pain can even force some people to give up work entirely.
But physical labour doesn’t have to be tough on the back. Proper lifting and carrying techniques can protect the back muscles, according to a professional German gardening group. It’s also important for muscles, especially those deep in the back along the spine, to be trained properly.
Most problems stem from a lack of training of the back, abdominal and leg muscles. Many others aren’t physical problems, but psychosomatic. In only about 5 per cent of all cases are the discs of the back the real source of the pain.
It’s important not to underestimate the mental component. Lack of recognition, problems at work, stress or existential problems can all cause back problems just as easily as lifting and carrying heavy objects, or standing for long stretches of time, reports the group in its recent publication LSV kompakt.
Regular movement is helpful. Bicycling, jogging, walking and the backstroke are all good activities for fighting back pain. The right workout will relax the back musculature, reports the magazine. Many insurers also cover the cost of courses to help people learn to fight back pain.