Plant and Rake Without the Ache

Summer is here and many of us are out in the garden.  Gardening is a great way to stay active and have fun in the sun.  Using the right moves can go a long way to enabling you to plant and rake without the ache.  Positioning your body correctly reduces the strain on muscles and joints.  Here are some safety tips to help you prevent injury and enjoy your time outdoors during the gardening season:

gardening

  • Stretch before you start.  Loosen up to prevent injuries to your joints and  muscles.  Take a few minutes to do some stretches to get your body ready.
  • Alternate your tasks. Switch between heavy chores such as digging and lighter, less physically demanding tasks such as planting.
  • Bend your knees to lift with ease.  When lifting, keep your back straight and bend your knees.  Always carry the load close to your body and avoid twisting.
  • Kneel to plant and weed. Constant bending can put strain on your back, neck and leg muscles and joints. Use knee pads or a kneeling mat to minimize the amount of bending required, and to make kneeling more comfortable. Keep your back straight.
  • Change positions frequently. Make a point of changing position every 10 to 15 minutes. Move from kneeling to standing, from planting to digging.
  • Pace Yourself. A minimum of three brief breaks each hour is recommended. Take a few moments to move around, stretch your muscles, have a drink or simply sit and relax.

The most common injuries we see after a weekend of gardening are lower back pain and shoulder pain.  If you have aches and pains just won’t go away, contact us to find the most appropriate treatment method.

Source: Ontario Chiropractic Association