Gardening and Low Back Pain

Gardening-Resync-physiotherapy Dublin 18

I wish I never had a garden

It’s that time of year that you wish you didnt have a garden. Some people absolutely love being out in the garden, weeding, pruning and feed off the satisfaction of having a well kept garden to admire from their window. But if you are like me and it is the bane of your life, then read on.

Gardneing and Low Back Pain

Lets face it, we all know gardening causes back pain to flare up. But why?

Well the reason is not the gardening itself, its the constant bending over and sustained postures that your back cannot cope with. If you sit at a desk all day then spend the weekend gardening and bending over its going to have an affect on your lower back as your back is constantly in a flexed position.

Being in a flexed position causes muscles in your lower back to weaken and the muscles in your stomach and front of your hips to tighten up. It is a viscious cycle that not many escape that have a weak lower backs

Here is a list of things that your can do to help you keep gardenign and protect your back.

Warm up your Lower back before you start

If you have had lower back pain before, your physiotherapist may have given you some exercises to help releive the pain. That would be a good place to start. Stretch and warm up your lower back with some of these exercises for 20 mins before your start. This will give your body the best chance at surviving the days work.

Dont start with the hardest task

We are all guilty of diving head first into tasks without thinking. Lifting the heaviest pots and plants is not the best idea. Start with a lighter tasks to get the body moving.

Take Frequent Breaks

If you are not used to gardening you need to take frequent breaks to give your body and muscles a rest. Continuing to fight through fatigue during gardening can increase your low back pain. Discomfort is allowable but you have to remember to look after yourself otherwise your lower back will flare up and your garden will be left half finished.

Technically im still young, but according to my lower back back I’m 97

Unknown Gardener

Use support such as chairs and knee pads

Working on hard surfaces in a crouched over position can hurt your lower back. Have some aids to help you get the task completed and will also help you reduce any muscle soreness the next day.


If you have the benefit of having other members of the family to help you, then delegate certain tasks to share the work load.

What to do when your back flares up

  1. Ring your physio
  2. Rest lying on your back not sitting
  3. Take a hot bath
  4. Gentle stretching

7 Day Low Back Pain Challenge

Why not check out our 7 Day Low Back Pain Challenge to see if some of our exercises can help you loosen out a stiff or tired back

Need a hand with your lower back

Book an appointment online in our clinic and lets us help you get your garden right for summer


Kula Health