It was a struggle to get here but Summer 2019 finally decided to join us!
With the sunshine and heat coming out, I know a lot of people are picking back up their annual activity of gardening. Gardens are blooming a little later this year in Oakville. Gardening is an excellent hobby to make sure you get outside during the summer, it helps to decrease stress and helps to achieve a sense of accomplishment.
Because it’s a seasonal activity, our bodies are sometimes not used to it and can experience some increased pain when returning to gardening each year. We often see people in our Oakville Physio clinic for injuries from gardening who have maybe done too much too soon.
Common injuries sustained while gardening
- Neck pain
- Lower back pain
- Wrist and thumb tendonitis
- Tennis elbow
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
Here are some tips for gardening:
- Warm up – this may not seem natural, however since gardening is a physical activity, it makes sense to treat it as such! Prepping your muscles and body for activity is an excellent way to prevent injury
- Use a stool for prolonged activities – this will help prevent strain on your back and knees when you’re outside for an extended period
- Take breaks – making sure to change positions/posture will help prevent your joints and muscles from stiffening up; break time is a good opportunity to drink water to make sure you stay hydrated
- Rotate tasks – change up your activity frequently in order to avoid repetitive stress on one body part
- Lift with your knees – bend your knees to assist you in lifting in order to protect your lower back; also make sure to activate your core when lifting and keep your load close to your body
- Ask for help – with increased loads, ask for assistance in lifting rather than trying to do it all on your own
- Maintain your resilience! Our bodies our adaptable and resilient. When you move in different ways, move often, and challenge your bodies in different ways you increase your bodies resilience to new or increased activity. Stay active over the winter and gardening will likely be much more enjoyable for you.
If you have a specific pre-existing injury or pain, consult with your physiotherapist for specific tips to avoid putting stress on it for the time being and how to build your resilience.