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joel baldwinson

hi spring seems to have arrived in leeds but i have been told by my doctor that shouldn't garden at the moment because I'm still having trouble with my back

i slipped a disc in my lower back eight weeks ago now and although there has been improvement i am still in pain

anyway am not going to moan just wondered if anyone could relate to my problem and if so are you still able to garden because am beginning to lose hope and my mind

all the best joel


Joel, I'm so sorry to hear of your problems - speaking as someone from a family of 'back problems' I'll say please do as your doctor tells you, keep your back warm and also keep it flexible, and lobby your GP for some physio as soon as he thinks you're ready.  

Gardening in the garden really is not a good idea for you at the moment, but what about some windowsill gardening?  You could  buy a pelargonium and take some  cuttings, or cultivate an enthusiasm for cacti, or sow some coleus seeds and pot them on and grow loads and loads of them as houseplants and bedding plants and sell them to your friends to raise funds for all the gardening you're going to do when you're better. 

Good luck and keep us up to date with how you're getting on 

Oh, and don't lift anything heavier than a kettle!!!

Caz W

Hi Joel.  I had the same problem a few years ago and it did take a while for the pain to go.  I had physio which helped a little and later acupuncture which helped a lot (I know it doesn't work for everyone but when you're in pain you'll try anything).  I also bought a TENS machine from the chemist, after checking with my doctor is was OK, and that provided relief too.  Keep warm and don't sit still for too long.  I also found a hot water bottle on my back for no more than 20 mins at a time eased the pain too.  Now I can garden but know my limits and don't try to keep going once my back starts twinging.  It can take a while but be patient and as Dove says try and do some gardening jobs that don't need lifting or bending.

Hi Joel, most of the people on our allotment are not youngsters anymore and they all agree little by little gets the job done, plenty of tea or coffee, lots of chat, loads of moans about the weather ,slugs, and snails and a good laugh and there you go, iv had a problem lower back for years so steady as you go matey
good luck Alan4711
Bunny ...
I have it , walking actually helps mine .



Walking in as near normal position as you can manage is very good.

I try and do a bit of weeding on my hands and knees, not that successful and getting up can be difficult but it's less frustrating than doing nothing. Frustration is usually worse than the pain after the first few days for me.

bad time of year for a bad back, sorry Joel. Hope it improves soon


Hi , I suffer also from sciatica and i am on a tablet called "Difane" it helps mask the pain which is like a burning sensation down my r/leg it also comes as a Gel and spray ask your GP

regards Derek

joel baldwinson

Thanks for your comments and helpful tips i will let you know how i get on . I have started sowing my salads and half hardy annuals a few weeks ago in my old trusty plastic green house and there has been good germination so far that cheered me up it amazing what a few seeds can do. i will just have to leave to heavier jobs until next year

thanks again joel

hollie hock

I had sciatica once, very painful indeed. Hope it eases off

i slipped 2 discs whilst in labour, didnt know this until after my daughtrt was born. Thought it hurt a lot. My back has certainly got worse over the years. Have had countless xrays, epidurals and 2 lots of major surgery. The last being a lumber fusion. Think im headed for treatment again as it has gotten bad again. I do most of my gardening on my hands and knees get absolutely filthy. Do you have a pain clinic where you are? i found them so helpful and taught me to pace myself and i now manage to do more than before. I also swim twice a week in a hot hydrotherapy pool. Keeps the muscles stong and the water supports you as you exercise. Good luck

My father in law had some amazing results from visiting a chiropractor. He'd had months of pain and inconvenience, and after 1 treatment he had lost that hollow eyed pinched look. Two weeks later he was pain free and active again.

Of course, every person's back is unique, but worth a try.
joel baldwinson

thanks again for all your comments ive had a much better day today I'm having a MRI scan on Thursday so i will see what the damage is and take it from there .

thanks again joel

Caz W

That's good news Joel.  You can ask for a copy of the results and if you decide to go to a chiropractor, physiotherapist, etc. you can take it with you for them to see exactly where the problem is.  This is what I did and it saved a lot of descriptions and explanations!  Good Luck

Pennine Petal
Caz, you life saver, just reminded me we have a TENS machine, applying it as we speak!

Joel, I do feel sorry for you. I was plagud with a bad back for years, though not the same problem as you have. I now see a physio every 6 weeks and he hauls my back into shape again. What I found very helpful was a kneeler with 2 side supports to help me get up again if my back is stiff or weak. Also using stomach muscles more helps.


Caz W

Hope it does the trick and you soon feel better Glyn! 

Pennine Petal
I'm off the physio tomorrow Atjak, I hear Pilates can be useful too, as that helps strengthen the core muscles.
Steve Worthing

Check with a doctor first.

I found doing simple Core exercises on a swissball helped cure my back problem (not as severe as slipped discs) As after a back injury the core muscles have to be retrained to work correctly again.


joel baldwinson

hi my back is much better and i am able to garden again just have to be careful and do my exercises ,thanks for all your advise


I too have been gardening with a bad back for years - nowhere near as bad as yours Joel (so definitely follow medical advice) - but there are times when mine is pretty unbearable.

Best advice I can give is to keep up the exercises and also to take an alarm clock out gardening with you! Set it for 20, 30 minutes at a time (or whatever interval works for you to stop you before things even start to hurt). When it goes off - change to a different task that involves a different working position (you are allowed to go back to the earlier task later!). It was doing a straight 2 - 3hrs of hand weeding or digging or shovelling compost or any other task without a break that was a killer for me. 

We gardeners all know that once we get started with our heads down and our bums up that an hour passes in the blink of an eye - hence the alarm to keep you on the straight and narrow and stop you over straining any one set of muscles or part of your body. Mind you, that alarm will drive you crazy - it'll go off everytime just as you're getting a nice rhythm going!! 

Good luck & take it easy out there - & remember - gardening is our hobby - we do it for fun - for pleasure - it is not a chore - we should not take it too seriously - yeah yeah - and who exactly am I kidding at this time of year (especially on this forum)????