Gardening although not considered a sport, is a physical activity. As such it can give rise to pain if not performed correctly. At the Motion Physio Clinic we commonly see people with back, neck or knee pain after overenthusiastically tackling the garden. Firstly, try and do ‘little and often’ in the gardening. Spending hours on end weeding, when your body doesn’t regularly do this activity will lead to aches and pains.
Choose garden tools that will suit your height and that you can lift and handle easily.
Spades and Forks – make sure they are the right height for you. Too long and you will lean back and be off balance, too short and you will lean forwards and flex your back, putting yourself at risk of back pain.
Wheelbarrows – make sure your wheelbarrow moves freely and easily when empty, as it will be even more difficult when full. Do not overfill your barrow before moving. The back and knees are much better if moving light loads.
Secateurs – try to limit your pruning to short bursts, to reduce overload on the elbow joint. We see gardeners ‘tennis elbow‘ coming into the clinic when people are overenthusiastic with pruning.
Lawnmowers – Check that you can stand fully upright with a push mower, never swing side to side. Make sure to choose the correct mower for the size of your garden.
Limit digging to short bursts, and then change activities. This will help to reduce overload on the back and knees.
Planting and Weeding
Use a weeding mat if your knees allow it. Using a small stool is also helpful, move it regularly to avoid over reaching. Raised beds are great for anyone with back problems, make sure they are not too deep so you can reach easily.
Have two watering cans, that you half fill. Then you are well balanced when carrying both at the same time. An automatic rewind hose system is great to avoid bending and turning when storing.
If you are suffering pain from gardening, call us today for an appointment at Motion Physio Clinic, Prosperous, Tel: 045 841010. I can perform an assessment, give you a diagnosis and treat you as required.