How Physical Therapy Can Help You This Gardening Season
As spring approaches, many individuals begin to contemplate their gardens and which seeds to plant for the upcoming season. However, gardening can be physically taxing and result in discomfort in the back, neck, knees, and hips. To assist with your gardening endeavors, here are some tips to prepare you for the spring season.
Begin with a warm-up.
Since gardening requires physical exertion, it’s crucial to warm up your body to avoid injury and reduce soreness. Walking around, rolling your shoulders and hips, bending your knees and performing small lunges, and gently rotating your back while swinging your arms across your chest are all excellent warm-up exercises.
Take a seat.
To avoid excessive bending or kneeling, utilize a stool or bucket to sit on
while weeding or digging. For added comfort, you could use a cushion or knee pads to kneel on. After 20 minutes of squatting or kneeling, take a rest break to walk around.
Maintain proper body mechanics.
Since gardening necessitates a lot of bending, lifting, and digging, it can put stress on the body. Remember to lift with your knees instead of your back. To avoid straining your neck and shoulders, don’t hunch your back or shoulders. Instead, bend at the hips and keep your shoulders down and back.
Take your time.
Begin with 20-30 minutes of gardening and then take a break. Gradually increase the time you spend in the garden, but start slowly to avoid excessive fatigue and potential injury. Initially, some soreness is to be expected, so take rest breaks as necessary to avoid wearing yourself out. Since spring is when some people return to more physical activity besides shoveling, take your time getting back into the swing of things.
Since gardening can cause you to break a sweat and the weather can become hot, it’s vital to drink plenty of fluids throughout the day to stay hydrated. Dehydration can lead to muscle cramping and fatigue, so make sure you have water on hand to beat the heat.
If you continue to experience aches and pains that don’t go away after a few days, contact one of our clinics to schedule an evaluation. We can help you improve your mobility and strength to alleviate discomfort. With some insurance policies, no referral is necessary!