Have you ever noticed how hard gardening can be on the body? All that bending, stooping, digging, and pulling can cause annoying aches and pains. Avid gardeners may even develop chronic pain or injuries over time.
Are you a gardener? Read on to discover five tips that will help you stay injury-free and able to do what you love for years to come.
“The secret to a healthy garden is a healthy gardener. Gardening is an active pursuit that can cause muscle strain to the lower back, shoulders, knees and arms, especially if you are out of shape and do not move properly.” — Canadian Physiotherapy Association
Avoiding Injury While Gardening: 5 Effective Tips
Gardening should be fun, not painful. Here are a few ways to avoid injury while gardening this year:
- Stretch — Before and after you garden, make it a point to gently stretch. This can go a long way in keeping you injury-free.
- Lift correctly — It’s nearly impossible to garden without lifting. Lift the right way by keeping your back straight and your knees bent.
- Pay attention to pain — Do you ever feel pain in any area of your body during or after gardening? Instead of ignoring it, make note of the type, severity, and placement of the pain. Pay attention to how often you are in pain. If the pain persists, definitely see your general practitioner or physiotherapist.
- Wear sunscreen — It can be easy to forget to wear sunscreen in springtime when temperatures aren’t too hot. Remember, though, that you can get a sunburn even when it is overcast and cool. With this in mind, wear an SPF when you garden.
- Consult a physiotherapist — If you are a serious gardener, it would be helpful for you to consult a physiotherapist. He or she will evaluate you to ensure your movements, posture, and form during gardening are conducive to health and fitness. Physiotherapists are great at spotting dysfunctions in movement that other individuals would miss. Visiting a physiotherapist doesn’t necessarily mean you must participate in a long-term physiotherapy program. For some individuals, a couple of physiotherapy sessions are sufficient for a physiotherapist to educate gardeners about self-care and injury prevention. Of course, if you have an injury or chronic pain, a longer physiotherapy program may be necessary. Only a physiotherapist who has evaluated you will know how to best meet your needs.
If you live near Winnipeg and want some personalized tips for avoiding injury while gardening, contact the team at Elite Sports Injury Physiotherapy Clinics.