Tips to help you stay healthy this Gardening Season
Now that summer has finally has come, we can officially start planting and tending to our gardens. Unfortunately on occasion we can experience injury as a result of gardening. With repetitive bending to reach over and plant, back injury can ensue. A back injury can be a real set back when it comes to gardening. In order to prevent injury follow these simple useful tips:
1. Your back is strong and can tolerate a lot but a gentle warm up prior to activity doesn't hurt. Some gentle back bends and trunk rotation stretches can warm up muscles so that they are “ready” for the activity. Take 2-3 minutes of slowly flexing, extending and rotating your trunk while seated or standing to warm up.
2. Use of a kneeling pad is a great way to both protect the knees on the hard ground and also enable you to be lower to the ground to protect your back with flexing. You can find kneeling pads at most home hardware and gardening locations.
3. Take frequent breaks in activity. Every 5-10 minutes, be sure to stand up and take a step back to admire your work. This will give your back, hip and knee joints a rest from being in the same position for too long which may result in stiffness and pain.
4. Use appropriate tools. Tools with a good ergonomic grip will prevent hand and wrist and elbow injury. Be sure to use a tool that allows you to have a comfortable grip.
5. Be sure to wear lightweight layers during gardening that are there to keep muscles warm but also can easily be removed if getting too hot.
6. Do not lift anything too heavy such as bags of soil, and heavy planters by yourself. Always ask for help when lifting. If there is no one at home to help you, then ask a neighbour. Keep the spirit of community alive in Beaumont!
Remember that your physiotherapist is here to help prevent and treat injury.