I know to protect my lower back by bending my knees before digging and lifting, it’s the twisting that bothers my back.
With all four compost heaps full to the brim, I couldn’t put it off any longer.
I made a start with the intention of working slowly, so I wouldn’t strain my susceptible sacro-iliac joints that complain when I repeatedly twist my back.
Somehow I had a feeling that I’d find a way not to strain my back this year….
…then I remembered one of the principles we’re taught in Tai Chi – to always keep shoulders and hips in line, and move them together as a unit. So, putting that into practice I adjusted my usual routine of :
- dig the compost
- twist my shoulders and the top of my body, so that – with some discomfort – I could
- drop the soil into the wheelbarrow.
- dig the soil
- step my feet round, so my whole body moved round and my shoulders and hips stayed in line, so that I could easily
- drop the soil into the wheel barrow.
Using my feet to turn my whole body, rather than twist my spine by only moving my shoulders, took a little longer, and at first this was somewhat frustrating. However, with practice, I was able to speed up this new routine.
The best part was that after an hour or so of emptying compost from the heap into the wheelbarrow, my back made no complaint, and I was equally comfortable the next day. Bliss!
If your back isn’t happy with a lot of twisting, how can you alter the way move, so that you move your whole body round?
Several years ago there was another situation where I learned to protect my sacro-iliac joints – in the swivel chair I use to sit at my computer. At the time it took me a while to track down my sore sacro-iliac joints to swivelling my shoulders round in advance of the chair moving – introducing a twist into my spine. Soon after I started to keep my shoulders and hips aligned as I swivelled, the discomfort disappeared.
The Delicious Nugget: Protect your back from repeated twisting by moving your whole body round, keeping your shoulders and hips aligned as one unit.