It’s that time of year when my delightful small garden calls out for attention. Given a fine day I’m more than happy to respond but I do get carried away with my enthusiasm. I know I’m old enough to know better, and I know I’m informed enough to prepare my ageing body for such an event by stretching it out. Trouble is I only intended to prune a plant or two, cut back a hedge or two, or dig a patch or two. But I ended up doing it all, scaling ladders to hedge, digging deep to plant, and heaving rubbish to tip. End result…severe back ache which happens every spring. So when will I learn?
What to do?
My local Osteopath Mark, to whom I have resorted for sympathy and treatment, advises me to attack the garden for half an hour at a time, rest for 10 minutes, then attack again to help prevent problems. Of course keeping my back strong and supple is the best way to avoid getting back pain. Regular exercise, maintaining good posture and lifting correctly all helps. Most times my back pain gets better on its own and I don’t feel the need to see a doctor. The pain usually lasts for a several days so I remain as active as possible and try to continue with my daily activities. I sometimes take over-the-counter painkillers such as Ibuprofen if I’m really uncomfortable, which usually occurs at night time.
Although it can be difficult to keep cheerful and to be optimistic when I’m in pain, I know it’s important to stay positive as this helps me recover faster. Of course I’m now religiously doing the stretches and movements Mark has advised me to do, and promising myself not to act so impulsively next time! Back pain isn’t funny but sometimes a little laugh helps, especially if you realise its bad news – when you get to the age your back goes out more than you do!
What better motivation do I need for doing my preparation exercises than that?