If you are like me, you may have never given your wheelbarrow much thought. It really is a gardener's best friend. This garden companion is with you in all seasons and through all manner of tasks. The poor little guy is taken for granted yet never complains and always does the job. Often it isn't until the morning after that you think about him and then it's usually too late. Your back is hurting and there is little you can do but pop more ibuprofen and hope it does the trick. But there is something you can do to minimize the pain next time!
1) Use your joints not your back! When you lift the wheelbarrow bend with your knees that when you stand straight up the wheelbarrow lifts with you. Your legs are much better suited for lifting than your back.
2) Bend your elbows. When you are moving the wheelbarrow bend your arms to create a suspension for the weight of the load. It will reduce some of the stress on your back and build some muscle in your arms!
3) Don't weigh it down! Reduce the size of your loads. It may mean more trips back and forth but a little extra walking never hurt anyone!
I hope these three tips work for you like they did for me. When working on my rain garden I moved 20-30 loads of dirt to other locations in the yard. I don't know how much each load weighed but they were filled to the top. The first two tips worked well for me. The last one I could have done much better with. I put way too much in each load and I am just lucky that the wheelbarrow (and my back) didn't break under the stress.
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