Welcome spring without injuring yourself. Gardening is a fantastic way of keeping active and caring for your body, mind and soul. It does however come with injury risks! Injuries most commonly occur on the weekends and at particular times of the year when your garden calls you! This can put you at increased risk of injury. Of those of you that garden very regularly, overuse can be a risk.
Following are some very useful tips to enable you to garden safely knowing you are not causing yourself any harm.
1. Do Your Warm Up
Warm up with gardening specific movements to get your body prepared for what is ahead. Some useful ideas are:
-Lower back stretching: forwards, backwards and side to side
-Wrist and ankle rolls
-A quick brisk walk around the garden
2. Pace Yourself
If you have not been in the garden for a few weeks, don't go too hard too soon! This is a very common cause of back injury for gardeners.
3. Keep Your Tools Sharp
Keeping your tools sharp and in good working order will reduce unnecessary load on your tendons and prevent injuries such as tennis elbow and rotator cuff strains.
4. Keep It Straight
Avoid long periods of bending. Sit on a milk crate or kneel on an old cushion when working close to the ground. Regularly change position to avoid strain on your lower back. When using tools or pulling, keep your wrists straight and strong to avoid elbow and wrist overuse injuries.
5. Keep Your Chin In
Just as if you were sitting in front of a computer, don't poke your chin out. This will create neck pain and tension
6. Watch Your Weight
Take care with lifting. Always bend at the knees when lifting heavy weight, keep your tummy muscles on, and keep the load straight in front of you avoiding twisting. Use a trolley or wheelbarrow whenever you can and don't put fill buckets too much if they feel very heavy.
7. Ask For Help
There are some jobs you know you need help with. Don't risk your back by pulling a heavy pot loaded with soil. Call your son around or hire garden help for an hour or two for some bigger jobs.
At Aspire Physiotherapy we can help you with anything you have concerns about. Please come and see us so you can jump confidently into Spring! Click here to book online.
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