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What we’ll cover
  1. Warm Up:
  2. Get Fit:
  3. Be careful when bending:
  4. Be careful when lifting:
  5. Monitor sitting:
  6. Visit us for a check-up:

Don’t hurt your back this summer

Don’t hurt your back this summer.  With summer holidays almost here, many of us will be spending time becoming more active around the house and garden.  I think all of us have experienced a stiff or achy back following time in the garden.  Depending on what you have done, symptoms can even include acute sharp pain and muscle spasm.

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.  Try the following tips to prevent back pain this summer.

Protect your back this summer

Warm Up:

Extra work around the house or garden often places the body into positions that it is not accustomed.  If you usually spend your day sitting in front of a computer or in a sedentary posture, a sudden increase in loading and twisting can place stress and strain through the vertebrae, discs and ligaments around the spine

Housework or gardening is no different to exercise or sport.  Stretch and warm up before gardening or housework. This will prepare your spine for the work ahead and will help prevent injury.

Before getting into the garden, try standing with your shoulders shoulder width apart and gently lean side to side prior to gardening.  Gentle back arches can also be a great warm up exercise prior to getting into the garden.

Get Fit:

Having good muscle tone, fitness and flexibility significantly reduces the likelihood of back-pain.  A regular exercise program which incorporates core strength, resistance training and cardiovascular fitness 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.

Physiotherapists are experts at providing a safe and effective individualised exercise program.

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.

If working below knee height, use a small stool to sit on rather than bending from the spine.  Kneeling is also an alternative to sitting if hip and knee flexibility is sufficient.  Knee pads or kneeling mats can reduce the pressure on on the knees.

Take micro-breaks every 15 minutes.  Prolonged postures can place irregular forces through the spine.  Breaking it up by standing upright regularly can assist to unload pressure through the vertebrae and reduce intervertebral pressure.

Be 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, keep your back straight, your bottom pushed out and use your legs to do the work.  Engaging your core by drawing in your belly button can assist.  Avoid stooping over and try and stand as close as possible prior to lifting.  Minimise lifting and twisting, instead take small steps rather than rotating whilst holding a weight.

Monitor sitting:

Sitting has been shown to increase pressure and force through the discs in the lower spine.  Slouching or sitting in softer chairs such as the car or sofa places further pressure through the discs.

Minimise or avoid 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.  If you have spent time gardening or doing strenuous housework, try standing or lying rather than sitting for the first hour or so.

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.  Assessment can provide pre-screening to identify any underlying issues that may lead to injury.  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.

Book online or call us on 9571 6888.


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Last week our team celebrated another great year. 

Whilst Melbourne’s weather had its own plans, we were still determined to keep with the theme of ‘Italian Summer’. We let our hair down to master the art of mixology 🍸🍹followed by an Italian feast. Friday morning Run Club with the team. Practicing what we preach!

Staying stronger, healthier and happier. This time last week, our team was nervously completing their final preparations for @melbmara . 

Congratulations to our physiotherapists and ME community who ran on the day.

Dilen and Michael completed their first marathons. Abbey and Lizzie smashed out their first half. Last Sunday, our team headed down to see our own Matt Warren win a premiership in the VAFA Premier Men’s Competition. Last week our team dedicated a full day to professional development and team building. At ME Physio we pride ourselves on collaboration to put you at the centre of everything we do. 

Our team covered the latest treatments for back pain, financial well-being and finished off the day with salsa dancing. 

Many thanks to our guests including James Schomburgk from @the2ndvisitphysio , Financial Planners Tony Vikram & Cameron Bishop and the @salsafoundation At ME Physio, our focus is on helping you get stronger so that you can keep doing the things you love.

For Tony and Joan, healthier and stronger is being able to navigate the iconic Coast to Coast Walk in the UK! We recently had the pleasure of hosting Elise Bujor from Women’s & Men’s Health Physiotherapy to discuss women’s health issues across the lifespan. 

Our team pride themselves on staying up to date to ensure you’re able to stay healthier, happier and stronger. Huge milestones over the past few weeks with both Tom and Jude from @delasallefc doing their first bit of running in their rehab. 

Tom is on the return from an ankle dislocation whilst Jude is putting in the hard work following a knee reconstruction. Last week our team enjoyed some friendly rivalry at the footy. 

With finals around the corner, some of our team can now safely make holidays plans for September. We recently had the pleasure of hosting the podiatry team from @sespodiatry. 

Our physiotherapists Michael and Abbey presented on rehabilitation following Achilles surgical repair and ankle surgery. Last weekend some of our team got together to complete the 10 km run @runmelbourne. There was no finish line picture as some were keen to run another 15 km!

Whilst running wasn’t for some - brunch was well received by everyone. Shoulder impingement can be incredibly frustrating and painful. 

Tony has been working closely with our physiotherapists Vernon and Dilen to get on top of his shoulder pain. His treatment plan has included hands-on physiotherapy and individualised exercises in our hydrotherapy and strength programs.

You Deserve to Feel Good.

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