…and sometimes back pain!

Gardening

As the weather warms you may find yourself getting out in the garden planting vegetables or working in the flower beds. You may also be avoiding those activities you once loved due to fear of pain or re-injury. Rest assured as your physical therapist it is our goal, at Delta Physical Therapy, to keep you moving and show you the activities you once loved are achievable again!

We have included a post from MoveForwardPT.com with tips to help prevent the onset of common pain problems found with gardening. Check out Move Forward PT for many other educational topics centered around changing the way you move, to change the way you live at: https://www.moveforwardpt.com/Default.aspx

The following tips can help minimize aches and pains:

1. Get moving before you garden.

A 10 minute brisk walk and stretches for the spine and limbs are good ways to warm up.

2. Change positions frequently to avoid stiffness or cramping.

Be aware of how your body feels as you work in your garden. If a part of your body starts to ache, take a break, stretch that body part in the opposite direction it was in, or switch to a different gardening activity. For example, if you’ve been leaning forward for more than a few minutes, and your back starts to ache, slowly stand up, and gently lean backwards a few times.

3. Use a garden cart or wheelbarrow to move heavy planting materials or tools.

Lift with your knees and use good posture while moving a cart or wheelbarrow.

4. Give your knees a break.

Use knee pads or a gardening pad. If kneeling or leaning down to the ground causes significant pain in your back or knees, consider using elevated planters to do your gardening. If kneeling on both knees causes discomfort in your back, try kneeling on one and keep the other foot on the ground.

5. Maintain good posture.

Use good body mechanics when you pick something up or pull on something, such as a weed. Bend your knees, tighten your abdominals, and keep your back straight as you lift or pull things. Avoid twisting your spine or knees when moving things to the side; instead, move your feet or pivot on your toes to turn your full body as one unit.

6. Take breaks.

If you haven’t done gardening or other yard work in a while, plan to work in short stints, building in time for breaks before you start feeling aches and pains.

7. Keep moving after you garden.

End your gardening session with some gentle backward bending of your low back, a short walk and light stretching, similar to stretches done before starting.


Author: Andrea Avruskin PT, DPT

Find your self in pain? Scared to garden? We are here to help!

At Delta Physical Therapy we aren’t just here for when you are injured, we are here to help you reach your goals in a safe way! Give us a call at 225-372-5008 or visit our website at: https://deltabatonrouge.com/physical-therapy to set up a FREE assessment to determine limitations in movement and ways we can help get you planting the garden of your dreams!

Change the way you move. Change the way you live.

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