4 spring activities where you’ll need to protect your back

How do you celebrate the first sunny days of spring? Do you like to get active by playing a game of tennis? Or relax by planting some new blooms in your garden? Whatever you like to do, here are some ways you can protect your back in the process:

1. Spring cleaning
This spring tradition is great for those unattended dusty corners of your home, but it can be tough on your back. Trying to reach those tricky spots by kneeling, bending and reaching puts a lot of strain on your muscles and joints. To avoid that pain, follow basic safety rules by bending at your knees (never your waist) and never reach or lean too far in any direction. You should also warm up beforehand by stretching and take frequent breaks throughout. It's never a good idea to overexert yourself, even if you have a lot of cleaning to do!

2. Gardening
Spending a day tending to your flowers in the fresh air sounds like a dream after a cold winter, but if you're not careful, it could be a nightmare for your back. All that time bending over can cause a great deal of discomfort. To make sure you're gardening pain-free, be sure to pace yourself, take breaks and never bend at the waist. If you need to be close to your gardening project, kneel and use a pad to reduce the pressure on your knees. For sufferers of chronic pain, it might be a good idea to invest in raised garden beds so you don't have to bend or kneel for long periods of time.

3. Tennis and Golf
These sports are great spring pastimes, but before you start swinging away, there are some safety tips you should know. Warming up before you play is essential. Take 10-15 minutes to stretch your shoulders, back and legs to prep your muscles for activity. You should also practice good form for your tennis serves and golf swings. For tennis, avoid arching your back too much and instead bend at your knees and raise your heels to support your upper body weight. For either sport, you should work on building up your core strength to reduce the risk of injury.

4. Running
Whether you're training for an upcoming marathon or trying jogging for the first time, it's always wise to be aware of how you're treating your back. That often starts with your footwear. Wearing shoes that don't fit properly or aren't supportive enough can lead to a stress fracture in your spine, so be sure to wear the right running shoes. Beginning runners should pace themselves and start slowly, while more seasoned pros should listen to their bodies if something hurts or doesn't feel right, even if they're trying to finish a race.

If you're experiencing back pain after any of these activities, schedule an appointment with a professional chiropractor today.