It's that time of year again—time to be on the hunt for the perfect pumpkins to decorate your home for autumn. But there's no reason to let picking that prize pumpkin hurt your back. Following some common-sense tips your chiropractor may offer can help you avoid back pain following a trip to the pumpkin patch.
Think twice before lifting a large pumpkin. Keep in mind that bending forward when lifting something heavy puts pressure on intervertebral discs and can make the pain from a herniated or bulging disc worse.
Minimize bending by positioning yourself as close as you can to the pumpkin you want before picking it up. Rather than trying to lift it by the stem, put your arms around the pumpkin and draw it close to you. Avoid stretching your arms out too far while lifting.
Keep your back as straight as possible and bend at your knees with your posterior pointed outward to help keep your spine straight. Lift with your legs and buttocks, not your back.
Maintaining Proper Spinal Alignment
Since you can strain your spine when you bend or twist your back too much, maintaining proper spine alignment and posture can help you lift a pumpkin without hurting your back. Be sure to align your hips and shoulders, keeping your back as straight as possible. To maintain good posture, look straight ahead with your eyes so that your body follows your line of vision.
Keep your chest forward while lifting to prevent hunching your back. When you hunch your back, your upper spine curves outward, stressing the spine. As a result, you can suffer muscles aches and lower back pain.
Asking for Help
Get help if the pumpkin you want is too heavy for you to lift on your own. You'll know that it's too heavy if your back hurts when you try to lift it. Ask someone to help you so that you can distribute the weight of the pumpkin between the two of you.
If there is no one nearby who can help you, pass on a large pumpkin that you can't manage alone. You may need to settle for a smaller pumpkin, especially if you have a history of back problems.
Listen to what your body is telling you when choosing which pumpkins to bring home from the pumpkin patch. Your body doesn't lie.
Transporting Your Pumpkin
Consider how you are going to get a large pumpkin to your vehicle. Keep in mind that depending on how far away you are parked, carrying a heavy pumpkin can give you a real workout.
But you'll be better prepared if you do some warm-up activities before heading out to the pumpkin patch. Simply going for a short walk gets the blood flowing to your muscles and joints. Stretching exercises can also help reduce strain on the muscles of your back while you are picking pumpkins.
Once you leave the pumpkin patch, don't walk around carrying the pumpkin in your arms. Use a cart or dolly to push the pumpkin, as toting a large pumpkin around a farm market or fall festival can stress your back.
For more tips, make an appointment with an office such as Hidden Valley Chiropractic.
During my first pregnancy, I spent a lot of time pushing pillows behind my back trying to find comfort. As the size of the baby grew, so did my discomfort. By the time she was born, I was more than ready to give birth. When I found out I was pregnant again, I was determined that I would not suffer through the same discomforts. I started researching ways to ease the symptoms of pregnancy, including back pain. I created this blog to help other expectant moms find remedies to deal with those symptoms that can be emotionally and physically draining.