Gardening; Tips For Preventing Injuries
As a clinic we often see patients who have sustained gardening-related injuries, from neck and back pain to wrist sprains. To help you enjoy your time in the garden and/or yard while also protecting your body, we’ve compiled some tips on gardening and injury prevention.
Warm up and stretch before gardening
Gardening involves a lot of bending, reaching, and lifting, which can put a strain on your muscles and joints. To prevent injury, it’s important to warm up your body and stretch your muscles before you start working in the garden. Some good warm-up exercises include shoulder circles, squats, and lunges. You can also stretch your hamstrings, quadriceps, and back muscles to help loosen them up before you begin.
Use proper lifting techniques
Lifting heavy objects, such as bags of soil or mulch, can put a strain on your back and cause injury. To lift safely, make sure to bend at your knees and not at your waist, keep the object close to your body, and lift with your legs, not your back. If the object is too heavy, ask for help or use a wheelbarrow or other lifting aid.
Take breaks and hydrate
Gardening can be a physically demanding activity, and it’s important to take breaks and stay hydrated. Take breaks every 30 minutes to stretch and rest, and drink plenty of water or other fluids to stay hydrated.
Use ergonomic tools
Using ergonomic gardening tools can help reduce the strain on your muscles and joints. Look for tools with padded handles, adjustable heights, and other features that are designed to reduce strain and increase comfort.
Use proper posture
Maintaining good posture while gardening can help prevent back pain and other injuries. Stand up straight, keep your shoulders relaxed, and avoid twisting your body while reaching or lifting.
Know your limits
It’s important to know your physical limits and not overexert yourself. If you have a pre-existing injury or medical condition, consult with your doctor, physiotherapist, naturopathic practitioner or massage therapist before starting a gardening project. Also, start with small tasks and gradually increase your workload to avoid overexertion.
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