Spring has finally sprung, and that means its time to dust off the shovel and get back into the garden! Gardening is a popular hobby, but can take a toll on your body if not done carefully. To prevent common gardening injuries and sore muscles during gardening, follow these simple tips:
- Start with a warm-up. Begin with easy tasks, such as marching on the spot, walking or easy raking to warm up your muscles. Perform a variety of stretches for your back, legs, neck, shoulders, hands and fingers to prevent injury.
- Be aware of your body mechanics and posture. When lifting heavy objects, use your legs and keep your back straight in order to prevent injury. Keep objects close to your body when lifting, and rotate your feet instead of twisting your back.
- Position your body at the height of your work. If you are working on the ground, kneel down, if you are potting, put your plants on a table. Consider wearing knee pads when kneeling to protect your knees.
- Avoid one handed work. Most repetitive strain injuries occur when one hand is doing most of the work. Use your other hand to grip a long handle or use both hands together to help dig.
- Use tools that work for you. Keep tools close by to avoid reaching and twisting. Consider using a wheelbarrow to help with heavy objects, and use tools with ergonomic handles.
- Take breaks. Make sure you pace yourself in order to avoid overworking a specific muscle or muscle group. Consider switching tasks frequently as this helps to avoid repetitive strain injuries.
Palermo Physiotherapy and Wellness Centre provides personalized Physiotherapy, Massage Therapy and Chiropody foot care to Oakville and the surrounding areas and can assist your gardening aches and pains. We encourage people to remain strong and active throughout the year to help prevent injuries related to seasonal leisure activities and hobbies.