Just like any strenuous task which isn’t done on a regular basis, mowing the lawn can lead to tired and aching muscles in the back.
Most of these injuries are due to the posture adopted while performing these tasks.
Standing or walking in a semi-flexed posture while pushing a heavy mower places huge stress on the low back. Muscles can become tired quickly and ache, leading to pain which can feel like an intense throbbing.
How back injuries can occur when mowing the lawn
When working in a semi-flexed posture, the intervertebral discs are compressed and forced backwards towards the nerves in the spinal column.
If there is a weakness in one of these discs, it may bulge, and swell, potentially trapping a nerve which will give rise to sharp pain in the buttock, thigh and possibly into the foot.
Lifting a mower and moving it around can also lead to shoulder and upper limb problems. An impingement syndrome may occur which is described as a sharp pain on lifting the arm in the shoulder socket, as inflamed tendons become trapped.
This should not be left untreated, and if you experience this problem, seek help from one of our practitioners.
How to prevent back strain when mowing
- Keep your back as straight as possible
- Shorter pushes are better than longer ones – which take you out of a neutral position and can put your back at risk
- Keep the wrists straight
Gardening tasks do involve a lot of stretching and lifting. They place abnormal loads on the small joints of the spine – the facet joints, which can become stiff and irritated, giving rise to a diffuse dull ache in the low back, with associated muscle tightness.
This is easily treatable with chiropractic techniques and/or massage.
Safer lifting tips
After mowing, emptying the grass box can prove hazardous on your back if you do not lift correctly. Use these lifting tips – using your leg muscles instead of the back muscles:
- Make sure you have enough space for movement – and remove any obstacles in your path.
- Keep your weight balanced with your feet apart.
- Bend your knees and keep your back straight but not vertical.
- Tuck your chin close to your chest
- Grasp the box keeping your arms and elbows close to your body whilst lifting.
- Lift the box by straightening your legs
- To shift direction move your feet and move the whole body
- Carry the box close to your body – do not twist your body whilst carrying
- To lower and empty the box – do not stoop
After all your hard work
If you are feeling tired and ache, an aromatherapy massage with pure essential oils selected to relax and revitalise you, will help you feel ready to tackle more jobs in the garden or elsewhere.
The simplest tip of all is to not overdo it!
If you are suffering back pain one of our chiropractic team will be happy to help.