Skip to main content


By: Dr. Donna A. Pontoriero, Chiropractor

New research reveals that a bad digging technique can as much as double the load on the joints in the body, leaving people susceptible to chronic injuries.

The results reveal the risks that gardeners might be running if using a bad digging technique and comes at a time when more people are recognizing the health benefits of gardening.

Researchers employed equipment usually used in the production of animated Hollywood films and advanced hospital laboratories to map the movement of gardeners while digging. They measured the loads imposed on the body's joints, bones and muscles.

The researchers found that loads in the lumbar region of the back--where many gardeners complain of aches and pains--could be increased by half as much again for bad posture. The shoulders were even more sensitive, where more than double the load was generated if a bad posture was used. Large loads at joints are associated with increased risk of osteoarthritis, the most common form of joint disease.

It was also found that good gardening practice involves using a regular, repetitive technique rather than erratic movements. A good technique was found to have minimal back bend and large knee bend whereas a bad posture was characterized by large forward bending, stretching limbs and uncontrolled motion.

If gardening or another outdoor activity does cause lower back pain, the best way to ameliorate the pain is by visitng a chiropractor. Doctors of Chiropractic (chiropractors) are experts in the treatment of lower back pain.

Please contact our office if you would like further evaluation on your condition.

Dr. Donna Pontoriero can be reached at 299 Franklin Ave, Nutley NJ 07110, 973-235-9393.