Gardening Season is here!
For most, it is an exciting time to get your front and backyard gardens looking great for sitting outside with your favourite beverage enjoying the fruits of your labour. For others, it means many aches and pains after all the gardening. So, unfortunately, instead of sitting outside with ice in their glass they’re inside lying down with ice on their back.
When we garden we bend, twist, lift, pull, and dig while planting, weeding, mulching, and raking. These movements can cause stress and strain on your muscles and joints, as we tend to do them repeatedly and for long periods of time. Also, using our joints and muscles after being inactive for months prior to gardening season can make us vulnerable to injuries.
What you can do to help protect yourself:
- Warm-up. A brisk walk for as little as 10 minutes and some light neck, back, and leg stretches will not only help prevent injury it will also make many tasks easier to do.
- Bend at the knees! When lifting or placing something down, always bend with the knees and not at the waist.
- To avoid stiffness and cramping, change your positions frequently.
- Listen to your body! When you start to feel an ache or pain simply stop and rest or do something different that utilizes a different body part.
- Use knee pads or a gardening pad when kneeling. Also, try kneeling on one knee with the other foot flat on the ground if you experience back pain when kneeling on both knees.
- Avoid using just your wrist when pulling things if you’re not using gardening tools. Keep your wrist straight, using your shoulder muscles to pull and lift.
- End your gardening session with a cool-down similar to your warm-up. Do some gentle backward bending of your low back, a short walk, and light stretching.
- Ensure you stay hydrated! To keep your muscles from cramping and to avoid heatstroke you should drink water regularly during your gardening activity.
If you are still experiencing pain when you garden, contact the clinic to schedule an appointment with one of our physiotherapists about how to relieve your pain! Call us at 519-265-7343.