8 Tips to Garden Safely this Spring

Gardening, just like any other repetitive activity, can cause serious injury if some simple steps aren’t taken to prepare the body for the task. 

Up to 40% of farmworkers report repetitive strain injuries to the hands, wrist, arms, shoulders or neck. 

Injuries to the low back are also common.  This number is thought to be even higher amongst non-professional gardeners as most of them have sedentary lifestyles and then expect their bodies to perform strenuous activities such as gardening. 

8 Tips for Preventing Gardening Injuries

  • Avoid lifting heavy objects by yourself.  Either get someone to help you or load them into a wheelbarrow or garden cart.

  • While lifting, keep the object close to you, carry it in front, and keep your back straight.  If you’re unable to do these things, the object is too heavy to lift on your own!

  • Wear correct footwear to avoid ankle sprains or falls. Sturdy footwear with sufficient tread and support through the foot ankle the best option.

  • Never work through the pain! If pain develops while you’re completing a task, take a rest break and if the pain persists, see your MD before returning to the same activity.  You may be able to stop a more serious injury from occurring.

  • It is very important to begin and maintain a general conditioning program, including stretching and strengthening, to prevent injury. 

  • Before Gardening:

      • Warm-up by walking 5-10 minutes. 
      • Stretch!  Make sure to stretch all major muscle groups including the upper body, back and legs.
  • During Gardening:

    • Stand up every 5-10 minutes and do backbends, 10-20 reps
    • Use a kneeler or short stool to avoid prolonged squatting
    • Stay hydrated
    • Stand up slowly between projects to avoid getting dizzy
  • After Gardening:

      • Cool-Down for 5-10 minutes by walking
      • Stretch all major muscles group, spending a little more time as now your muscles are warm and more easily stretched. 

How can a Physical Therapist help you prevent or treat injuries from gardening?

A Physical Therapist will work with you to treat any repetitive or traumatic injury you may receive while gardening and will help you to prevent any further injury in the future.  Our Physical Therapists can also help to prepare you for the gardening season by treating any small, nagging pain you may have before it becomes a bigger problem! 

We are experts in injury prevention and rehabilitation. We can help.

Contact us

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By |2021-03-11T19:07:14+00:00March 11th, 2021|Helpful Tips, Injury|Comments Off on 8 Tips to Garden Safely this Spring

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