Phoenix: 602.866.2231 | Queen Creek: 480.987.1870
5 Tips To Minimize Gardening Injuries A garden is a nature lover’s paradise. And while the summer sun might be beating down killing much of your labor of love, if it’s something you love to do, you might be already ...
A garden is a nature lover’s paradise. And while the summer sun might be beating down killing much of your labor of love, if it’s something you love to do, you might be already planning your fall bounty. Whether it is weeding, planting or harvesting, gardening can take a toll on our bodies if we’re not properly prepared for the time in the dirt. Read on for 5 tips to minimize gardening injuries.
As physical therapists, we are in the business of not only treating injuries, but also helping you prevent them. We know that it is not just accident, injury or work that can keep us from living the life we love, sometimes it is even our hobbies! For better or worse, many of us can get injured during some of our favorite activities. So, here are several tips to help you make the most of your favorite hobby and keep you enjoying it for years to come:
Just like going for a jog or a run, yard work is physical exercise. Our bodies need a proper warmup and cool down when engaging in physical activity to stay injury free — especially if it’s been awhile since we’ve engaged the muscles we are about to use. Before doing yard work, take a brief walk around the neighborhood to warm-up, or do some light stretching, like rolling your shoulders, stretching your arms, sides, back and legs.
Some injuries can occur because we don’t give our bodies the rest they need from the activities that we keep pushing ourselves to do. When you are working outside in your garden, be sure to take breaks from the activities of the day. Bending, stooping, or kneeling too long can cause pain, injury, knots or muscle weakness that can lead to bigger problems down the road. Don’t be afraid to take breaks as you make your way through your favorite projects. It will all get done in time.
If your body is not used to the activities you are putting it through, it doesn’t matter how much you enjoy doing what you’re doing, you’re going to be in pain. For this reason, don’t try to do everything all at once. Break your project up into smaller, more manageable tasks and spread these small projects out over time to ease the stress on your muscles and body.
Make sure that you are equipped for the job at hand. If you’ll be carting around rocks, mulch or dirt, get a wheelbarrow to help with the heavy lifting and hauling. Kneepads or a kneeling cushion will take the strain off your knees if you plan to plant. Having the proper tools will reduce your risk of twisting and turning in ways you shouldn’t and risking injury.
When it comes to heavy lifting or big projects, sometimes it doesn’t hurt to enlist a little help. Whether it is hiring a company with the proper equipment, or asking family and friends to come give a hand, enlist the help you need and don’t try to convince yourself you can do it all and take advantage of these tips to minimize gardening injuries.
If an injury has you sidelined from enjoying your favorite hobbies, or if you want to keep an injury from getting worse so that you don’t have to miss out on doing the things you love, contact us today for an evaluation. Our physical therapists at our two convenient locations — one in Queen Creek and one in Phoenix — will help keep you on your feet and enjoying the life you love.