Prevent Gardening Pain in oakland ca
Spring is in the air and many of my patients are spending their weekends gardening - in February. I know, it’s been a bit of a guilty pleasure to enjoy this 70-80+ degree weather as we end our eighth day of record-setting warm temps. But fears about our future aside, the flowers are blooming and many of us are heading outdoors to spend all day bent in crazy positions: stooped over the flower beds or reaching upwards, pruning trees. Gardening is so many good things: it’s meditative, it’s good exercise, and it’s relaxing. However, gardening can also hurt your body if you’re not prepared. Here are some tips to stay safe and out of pain while gardening.
Warm Up Beforehand
Gardening can be very physical. Adequately preparing your body for the work it’s about to do will help reduce aches and pains that may come with tending to your garden. Take a walk, run-in-place, or ride your bike for a few minutes beforehand. You’re less likely to pull a muscles if it’s warmed up.
Be Mindful of Your Posture
Work within comfortable reach for your body as much as you can. Try to keep your tools and workspace within arms reach. The further your reach, the more force you put on your body, and the more sore you will be. Handled tools and ladders can help you for the harder to reach spots. Avoid bending and twisting as much as possible. Try to keep your back straight if you’re bending over and face whatever you’re bending toward head on.
Use Quality Tools
Good tools will make your garden work easier. They can take some of the physical stress off of your body, and are more comfortable to hold. Make sure your tools are the right size and weight for your body. If you’re 5’1” and your husband is 6’2”, you should be using different tools.
Do Different Activities
Try to vary your gardening as much as you can. Say you have a large bush to prune: Instead of spending an hour pruning and then cleaning it all up, spend 30 minutes pruning, and then do another activity. If you vary the different kinds of gardening you do, your risk for strain injuries goes down.
Take Breaks Frequently
Take a five minute break every 30 minutes of activity or so. Grab yourself some water, enjoy the work you are putting in to improve your garden. You deserve it! And your body will thank you for it.
Don’t Forget the Obvious
Make sure to stay hydrated - drink plenty of water - and use sun protection. Wear a hat and sunscreen and don’t forget to reapply after a couple of hours.
Stretch and Ice Afterward
Take at least five minutes to stretch your legs, back, chest, abs, arms, and neck, just like you would after an intense workout. For a good stretch routine, click here.
Aches and pains may pop up a day or two after you have gardened. If that happens, you can ice the area to bring down some of the inflammation in the muscles.
Gardening is a physical activity and you should treat it as such. Following the tips outlined above will help to reduce some of the aches and pains that come along with gardening. If you are feeling any persistent soreness, please schedule an appointment with me so we can address the issue. Call our office at 510-922-1579 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your appointment.
Things We Love:
Protect your knees with this pad. It will provide you with extra comfort when you have to get on your knees while weeding or planting.
Garden Rocker Original Comfort Seat
This stool is rounded at the bottom so that you can extend your reach while sitting, increasing your range of motion while reducing strain on your low back and knees.
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