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Back Care In The Garden Tips, Tools and Exercises To Help.

Updated on July 19, 2016

Gardening With Sciatic and Back Pain Strategies And Practical Measures To Help.

This page is about your back care in the garden. The aim is to help people who have back and sciatic pain and who want to find a way to continue gardening. Working towards pain free gardening, and solutions to your back and sciatic pain.

I have included hints and tips from my own experience of lower back pain and sciatic pain to help you enjoy your garden, back care after gardening, garden books to accessible gardening and special ergonomic gardening tools to help people with back pain.

I Love my garden. When I got back pain and sciatica I thought I would have to give gardening up forever. However, with a little planning and care for your back, that does not have to be the case.

Please note the back pain relief solutions and ways to cope in the garden.

Take your back care in the garden seriously and have fun Gardening!

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Back Saver Grip Tool Attachment

Stout's Backsaver Grip, Black
Stout's Backsaver Grip, Black
This may be one of the most useful items for gardeners with back pain. The back saver long handle tool attachment reduces the strain on your back and shoulders. It is very handy as it can be transferred between tools thus making more of your tools easier for you to use.

Pain Free Gardening For You

Spring and summer are often a key time for existing back issues to flare up if we are not well prepared especially if we have been more sedentary during winter time. . Equally the heavier work often involved in Autumn/Fall like digging and raking and pruning can be hard on your back.

Also people can find they have newly acquired back pain and back strain as we get out there to sort out our gardens after a winter rest. So take your time, respect your back and give it some relief.

Here I provide back care information before during and after care while gardening, useful books on accessible gardening, back care products back care tools and some free products like the "7 Day Back Pain cure" to help you.

A few well chosen products, careful management of your back and taking a longer term view to identify and sort the root cause of your pain can ease back strain and keep you and you r back enjoying your garden!

When I got back pain and sciatica I thought I would have to give gardening up forever. However, with a little planning and care for your back, that does not always have to be the case.

Rub On Pain Relief For Gardeners

Ease those aching muscles!

This is a pain relief cream without that horrible smell most have! It is a good pain cream that you can wear when going out or in company. Gardeners can ease stiff and sore muscles after gardening. You Need Rub On Relief !

Care of your back after gardening is very important.Does your back ache and your joints feel stiff? If you are interested in back care after gardening or relieving those aching muscles, cooling inflamed tissues, relieve joint and muscle pain and reduce swelling you may like to learn more about this "Rub On Relief" cream.

Beautiful Gardens And Caring For Your Back

Beautiful Gardens And Caring For Your Back
Beautiful Gardens And Caring For Your Back | Source

Check with your healthcare provider if you are safe to do a little gardening if you have a back condition and especially if you have had back or spine surgery.

Preparation for Pain Free Gardening

Warm Up Your Back Muscles For Pain free Gardening

First it is important you find out from your healthcare provider if you are safe to do a little gardening if you have a back condition and especially if you have had back or spine surgery.

If you get the go ahead:

Whether you already have back pain or are wanting to avoid backstrain and have pain free gardening, it is important that you warm up before you start work in the garden.

Especially after a winter season of gardening inactivity our muscles are not used to gardening and thats when a lot of backstrain occurs. Spring and summer are the main times of year that doctors surgeries fill up with people having newly acquired backpain or existing backpain may get worse with the unprepared for activity.

Do any back care stretches you have, go for a short walk and treat it like you are an athlete getting ready. You are after all about to do some real physical work!

You may find it helpful to have a warm bath beforehand, particularly if you already have back pain. I always do this and it does help me.

If you already have back pain or sciatica you may find, if heat helps you, that putting a heat pad on your back to continually warm the muscles helps.

Only once you are fully warmed up should you start on your gardening tasks...

What a man needs in gardening is a cast-iron back, with a hinge in it.Charles Dudley Warner.

Ten Tips To Working In Your Garden-Pain Free

Ten Tips To Pain Free - Ease Your Back Pain In The Garden.

I used to garden all day, a short break for lunch and that was it. I loved it and wanted to do as much as possible in my time off. BIG MISTAKE!!

If You have a Bad back you simply should not do that any more. If you dont currently have a bad back its a good way to get one!

Here are Ten Tips to help.

1.Do a little gardening, rest , then do some more.

2.Vary activities, a little weeding, a little pruning etc.

3.Do not stay in one position for too long eg when weeding, get up stretch and move regulary. Repetitive tasks may put a strain on your back and other muscles.

4. Do not lift heavy things by yourself. Always get someone to help or better still use one of the many special gardening tools for moving objects.

5.If you have back pain and sciatica always let someone know you are working in the garden, just in case you should need assistance.

6.Rather than lifting and carrying a heavy watering can either use a hose or a smaller watering can. In a hot summer especially your plants in pots will need watering, I know the smaller watering can will mean more journeys back to the tap but it is better for your back. To be more eco friendly fix a water butt and use the water from there.

7.Use special back saver friendly tools to make it as easy on your back as possible. They can make quite a difference. Try to avoid digging or working over sun baked soil, go with the elements and dig when the going is easier.

8.Know your limits of your back.. It may be you can graduate to most tasks in the garden but digging or lifting may prove too much. Do not feel you have to be able to do everything! Split up tasks with other members of the family or friends or neighbours or get a handy person or gardener in to do the things you find difficult.

9.Take regular breaks for drinking water, it is easy to get dehydrated when gardening, especially in a hot summer, but be careful at any time, so regular water breaks will prevent that. Avoid mid day heat. Dehydration is not good for you or for your back and discs.

10.Treat yourself and your back as well as your plants !

Do a little gardening, rest , then do some more, vary activities, keep hydrated, use back saver tools and know your limits

Long Handled Gardening Tools For Easier Gardening.

Most gardeners already know that good garden tools make gardening easier on you and your back.

Don't think you cannot garden anymore try different tools for the job and see how you do then. The right tools will make you a happier gardener !

If these are not quite what you want you can look for more long handled weeders and tools just click through any of the links here and search for more on Amazon.

Lose The Back Pain For Pain Free Gardeners

If you have back or sciatica pain this system based on muscle balance therapy is well worth a try.

It is a home based system with support and helps to identify and sort out those muscle imbalances which may be causing your pain.

I found it very effective for my low back and bilateral sciatic pain

Beautiful Hosta Border In The Garden

Beautiful Hosta Border In The Garden
Beautiful Hosta Border In The Garden | Source

Back Care Gardening Accessories :Knee Pads - Knee Pads To make gardening easier and pain free.

If you are OK to kneel when gardening, Knee pads are great as you can then kneel while gardening rather than bending or stooping too much.

If you find it comfortable on you and your back to kneel at least for some of the time you are gardening you may want to consider knee pads.

Still don't stay in one position too long but knee pads can be a good buy.

Steve Hefferon and Lessons Learned in The Garden

Steve Hefferon from The Healthy Back Institute enjoys gardening as well and understand s the pressures if you have a garden and back pain issues.

He talks about taking care of the little things and what happens when you don't or feel you can't. "When Life gets in the way", or sometimes when pain or health matters get in the way too.

He makes the point that even though we are told Don't sweat the small stuff, if you tackle things when they are small it is easier and a faster remedy but when they get big they can overwhelm us.

I took from this not only to tackle the ONE weed Before it becomes 1000 !! But to notice what is going on in my body and to take care of my back each and every day whatever I am doing. If I had done that at the very first signs of my back issues it would not have got out of hand like it did and caused me so much pain and distress.

Tasks in the garden, or in life in general, can often seem way too big especially when in pain, but if we do one little thing every day towards a goal then we can get somewhere....

This is close to me as my Dr at the time I had severe back pain, told me that i would NEVER garden again with my back the way it was. As a gardener you will know how upset that made me feel. (He is not my dr now!) I have a brilliant Dr now who works with me on any health issues.

However for my back pain and sciatica I could not have done better than to find "Lose The Back Pain system" and all the support I got from Steve Hefferon there.:)

Sometimes the small things in our garden or in our life do get on top of us and we all do need support through those tough if you are in pain and feel overwhelmed - do ask for help.

Thank you Steve :)

Accessible Gardening

Accessible Gardening
Accessible Gardening
This shows how to modify an existing garden to make it easier. Advice on selecting ergonomic tools and plants that are lower mainteneance. Also shows how to make a raised bed planters. A very worthwhile guide.

Designing Your Garden For Pain Free Gardening

Garden Design for back pain or a bad back

If you have chronic back pain you may need to consider a redesign so you can garden more comfortably.

It is the same process you would go through if you were designing any garden and you can do it yourself or get a professional garden designer.

There are many books on garden design to help you get some ideas and I am sure you have plenty of your own.

Consider a low maintenance garden. Plant so there are no bare patches between the plants therefore less room for weeds. Less weeding means less bending and strain on your back. Gravel gardens or planting those plants whch require more attention in pots or raised beds may suit you.

Consider laying membrane which allows water and nutrients to pass through but makes it hard for weeds to get a grip. You will need to mulch it with bark, gravel , slate etc dependant on what you like.

Go for low maintenance plants and shrubs and not the ones that need a lot of attention or digging up after they have flowered.

Consider raised beds. I have two raised beds, actually at waist height as when my back pain was very bad I could not bend at all and that was the only way I could still get contact with my garden. A friend of ours, handy with wood made them for us to my individual specifications.

If your lawn is very small it may just be easier on you to gravel it over. You can still grow plants throughte gravel but it takes awaythe need to be coping with a lawnmower.

So just a few ideas, I am sure you will have plenty of your own....

Flowers In Gravel

Flowers In Gravel
Flowers In Gravel | Source

Accessible gardening

When gardening becomes difficult due to back pain, sciatica , accident, illness or other disability sometimes we need to have a rethink of our garden so we can continue to enjoy it.

Gardening In Pots Pain Free Gardening

Gardening In Pots Pain Free Gardening
Gardening In Pots Pain Free Gardening | Source

Stylish Garden Wellies! - Wellies can be beautiful!

Every gardener needs a good pair of wellies for when its wet and muddy and also for those jobs like cleaning the patio and hosing down items.

Why go for boring wellies when you can have colour and personality ! These two pairs just show what you can buy and add a little personality to your gardening wear!

It is vital that you take care of your back after gardening.

Take a warm bath or shower,use a heat pad to ease those back muscles, get a gentle massage,and do your "Lose The Back Pain" exercises.

Back Care After Gardening

Take care of your back.

It is vital that you take care of your back after gardening. When you have finished gardening for the day I suggest you take a warm bath or shower to ease those tired muscles.

Use a heat pad on your back to ease those back muscles.

Also if possible ask a partner to give you a gentle massage(avoiding your back directly if you have problems there)

Do any back care stretches you have-such as form Lose The Back Pain System

Continue doing stretching and warm baths/shower for the next few days until your muscles have eased.

Ergonomic Tool Set

Radius Garden, NRGSET, NRGSET Ergonomic Garden Hand Tool Set , Original Green
Radius Garden, NRGSET, NRGSET Ergonomic Garden Hand Tool Set , Original Green
A handy 4 piece tool set which will ease pressure on your hands and help you to find gardening easier. Good for anyone who does gardening.

Special Ergonomic Garden Tools

Tools to help you and your body work in your garden.

These ergonomic hand tools for all the little and not so little jobs in your garden will enable most people to be more independent on their gardening for longer.

Frankly they are good for any gardener to use to relieve stress on joints and muscles but are of particular benefit to anyone with pain.

Romantic Roses, Perfect Poppies In The Garden

Romantic Roses, Perfect Poppies  In The Garden
Romantic Roses, Perfect Poppies In The Garden | Source

Back And Sciatic Pain Stopping You Working In The Yard??

When gardening with back pain is not possible...

That was me for over a year. I could barely walk, no bending and was in pain all the time with sciatic nerve tingling and numbing pain. Gardening was out of the question. I had been told I would never garden again, but thank fully I found my back pain solution in Lose The Back Pain System(see "Thank you Lose The Back Pain " Lens below) and water therapy and proved them wrong.

If however you are told for the time being that it would be damaging to you to do the physical work in your garden you need to think how you can still be involved.

Here are just some ideas...

1. You can take over all the design aspects

2.You can order all the seeds/plants etc you need.

3.You may still be able to do the sowing of seed in cells or pots at waist height and pricking out.

4.You can supervise the gardening work. (I drove my husband nuts "supervising" but he still loves me!)

5.Utilise gardening forums to at least talk about gardening - you may find it helps to just talk with like minded people and you may be able to impart useful advice.

6.You may like to have a go at photography in your garden-you don't have to be great as long as its fun!

7.Spend time learning more and reading more about great gardening.

8. Teach your children if you have any how to care for plants-they can follow your instruction.

9. Look after the houseplants-watering,feeding etc.

Stunning Purple Flowers

Just beautiful flowers
Just beautiful flowers | Source

Just gorgeous!

Just gorgeous!
Just gorgeous! | Source

A garden is a friend you can visit any time.

Disclaimer:Garden Back Care

I am a recovering back pain sufferer and not a medical expert.This page contains personal opinions that are not intended as medical advice. The contents are not intended to diagnose, treat or give a medical opinion.

Please take advice from your healthcare professional if it is safe for you to garden if you have back issues or had back surgery.

The information here is no substitute for medical diagnosis and guidance. Consult a physician in all matters relating to health, particularly concerning any symptoms that may require diagnosis or medical attention. Never disregard medical advice, or delay or change treatment because of something you have read here. For assistance with back pain, or any other medical condition, always consult a qualified healthcare professional. You health is your responsibility.


I hope you found this article useful. I would love to hear from you.

Share your love of gardening, your thoughts on back pain and gardening and any hints and tips that have worked for you in your garden.

© 2008 RaintreeAnnie

Friends Of The Garden-Gardeners talk

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    • PriscillaKing profile image

      Priscilla King 

      5 years ago from Gate City, Virginia

      The person I knew who could have used this died last spring (age 96), but it's a good Hub anyway. Thank you!

    • profile image

      sierradawn lm 

      7 years ago

      I gave up gardening for about a year. I am so thankful that I am back in the garden again, working slowly and carefully. I follow all the the same advise that you give here. Your lens is beautiful! I love it!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Remember to add that therapies like massage and reflexology help to keep a healthy back

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Oooh did my back in gardening and my hip hurt for weeks - cost me a fortune at the physio.

    • Joan Haines profile image

      Joan Haines 

      8 years ago

      Walking regularly and doing stretches helps my back. This collection of encouragement and practical solutions is wonderful. "Squid Angel blessed."

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I have had very serious problems with my sciatic nerve (pinched by a slipped disc etc) I often found that once I was limber, so long as I continued moving he pain would be greatly reduced or vanish. You cannot remain in motion 24/7 though, so pain was often present Thanks for thinking of us.

    • flicker lm profile image

      flicker lm 

      9 years ago

      Thanks for the gardening tips for those of us have chronic pain but still want to garden!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Beautiful medicinal garden you have there.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      What a wonderful lens. I know I have to be very careful in the garden...especially getting up and down and excessive bending. Well done.

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      Ah, hello! You are barking up my tree with this as I suffer from back pain and need to be careful when doing yard work and gardening! Oh, to get old-er.

    • Tiddledeewinks LM profile image

      Tiddledeewinks LM 

      12 years ago

      I love my veggie and flower garden, although i've had to cut down due to spine pain from degenerative disc disease.

    • GiftsByDiana profile image

      Diana Burrell-Shipton 

      12 years ago from Hubbard, Ohio, USA

      With me, my back is fine. It is my hands, feet, legs... that I have trouble with due to a genetic connective tissue disorder. We dislocate easy and have a lot of pain... .

      However, I have to use many of the same methods as you listed to overcome my issues.

      I am trying to get a huge raised bed put in for my herb garden gardens.

      I use lots of herbs and flowers... in my soaps, perfumes, balms... and it is just getting too hard to keep up with my gardens.

      I have been planning my raised beds for a few years, but am still having trouble finding the time to get them done.

      I hope they are finished by Spring.

      Organically yours,


      My virtual storefront:

      My brick and mortar store in Hubbard, Ohio :

      One of my lenses:

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 

      12 years ago from Southampton, UK

      This is a fabulous lens, great information and lovely pictures. Definitely deserves 5*****

    • profile image


      12 years ago

      Excellent lens. I love to garden and you have some great info to help me keep planting.

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 

      12 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      I found your lens very useful. After years of gardening - I'm still try to do everything in one day. Thanks for reminding me not to do that. Spring is here and the garden is planted - now the flower beds need some attention. (Tomorrow.)

      5 stars, fan, favorite and lensrolled.

    • Winter52 LM profile image

      Winter52 LM 

      13 years ago

      I'm going to go for the container gardens. I have a back that likes to complain. Gorgeous photos and suddenly I can't wait to get out and get started. We had a few nice days and now cold temps again. 5 Stars :)

    • profile image


      13 years ago

      Now sell those photos of prize flowers to the web

      sites that are all around the web. With that money

      get more seeds, call the local High School and have

      who ever answers the phone send a request to the

      Future Farmers of America Club, and they will send

      you help. And take photos of all those helpers

      and make a real great lens for Squidoo. Thank

      you for a great Lens.

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 

      13 years ago from Arkansas USA

      Good reminders, good advice. Great topic!

    • profile image


      13 years ago

      Great job Jasmineann, information is always more valuable when it comes from someone that has experienced it.

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 

      13 years ago from San Francisco

      Good images, you made me laugh with the Charles Dudley Warner quote, and you provided useful information. Thank you.

    • profile image


      13 years ago

      outstanding lens! high fives!

    • evelynsaenz1 profile image

      Evelyn Saenz 

      13 years ago from Royalton

      You show some beautiful gardens here. When doing something really strenuous like adding a Frog Pond I suggest that you hire some help if you suffer from back pain. Putting up a bluebird house should be doable though.

      Nice lens. 5 stars.


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