Whether it’s a chore or pleasure, many of us have a garden that needs maintenance. Lots of tasks around the garden require repetitive activities that can lead to aches and pains. To avoid strain, and to help minimise your risk of injury, pay attention to the following tips from our physiotherapists. For more comprehensive information on reducing injury risk while gardening, please book an appointment with one of our experienced physiotherapists.
Gardening and back pain
Many of our patients have been treated for shoulder, back and wrist pain caused by lifting awkward items and carrying heavy loads. To avoid injury or strain, we suggest you do some stretching to warm up before and after gardening. Contact us to find out what type of stretches are most appropriate. For our older patients, we suggest gardening earlier in the day when the weather is bright and cool. This can help minimise your risk of falling in the evening due to decreased vision.
- When lifting items, make sure you bend at your knees and keep your back straight. Don’t twist your body if your back is bent. When lifting, keep your feet shoulder-width apart, one slightly in front of the other.
- Carry containers, buckets or loads as close to your person as you can. This helps reduce stress on your upper body and back.
- Never overfill your watering can, bucket or wheelbarrow. Only carry as much weight as you can lift without strain or discomfort.
- Use two lighter containers instead of one heavy container to help you equally distribute the load to each side of your body.
- When filling a watering can, place it on top of a chair or bench so you don’t have to bend down to lift it up when filled. Do the same when working on containers and garden pots.
If you are unsure of how to perform any of the above, we can demonstrate these techniques for you. You can book an appointment at Sports Focus Physiotherapy by clicking the button below.