Plant and Rake – Without the Ache!!

Gardening is a great way to stay active and have fun in the sun. But many Ontarians sustain injuries that could easily have been prevented with a little know-how.

Stretch Before You Start

To plan and rake without the ache, do each of these stretches five times. Don’t bounce, jerk or strain. Stretches should be gentle and should not cause pain.

Overall Conditioning:

Take a walk, even on the spot. Ten to 15 minutes should do it. Don’t forget to life your knees and gently swing your arms.

Your Sides:

  1. Extend one arm over your head
  2. Bend left from the waist
  3. Hold for 15 seconds and repeat to the right

Your Thighs:

  1. Lean against a tree
  2. Bend your right knee and grasp your ankle with your left hand
  1. Hold for 15 seconds and repeat with your left knee

Your Hamstrings:

  1. Stand
  2. Reach your hands to the sky
  3. Then, bending at the waist, reach toward your toes
  4. Hold for 15 seconds

Your Wrists:

  1. Hold one arm out in front of you, palm down
  2. Bend your wrist until the fingers point to the ground
  3. Use your opposite hand to hold this position
  4. Place your hands in “prayer” position, and press your palms together
  5. Keep your arm straight and place your palm in the “stop” position
  6. Use your opposite hand to hold this position

Your Shoulders:

  1. Let your arms hang loose
  2. Rotate your shoulders forward. Then rotate back

Your Arms & Shoulders:

  1. Hug yourself snugly
  2. Slowly rotate at the waist as far as is comfortable to the left, then right

Your Back:

  1. In a seated position, bend from the hips, keeping your head down
  2. Reach for the ground

Bend Your Knees to Lift With Ease

Get close to the load. Before lifting something heavy, position yourself close to the object. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, head up, with your feet and body pointing in the same direction.

Knees bent, back straight – Check the weight of what you’re lifting. Use your leg and arm muscles to smoothly and slowly lift the load.

Make sure you’re in sync – Keep the load close to your body. Pivot with your feet – don’t twist your body while carrying the load.

Easy does it – Bend your knees and slowly lower the load to its intended place.

Don’t forget – Do not lift heavy objects above your waist and avoid heavy lifting immediately after prolonged bending or kneeling.

Many hands make light work – Get some help with the heavy and awkward loads. Stand on something solid and slowly lift the load, keeping it close to your body, and pass the load to your helper.


If you experience back pain that lasts more than two or three days, call your chiropractor for an evaluation.

Presented by the Ontario Chiropractic Association.