Preventing Gardening Injuries

Preventing Gardening Injuries

It seems like it’s already spring and we know a lot of you are already out there working to make your yards look beautiful. BEWARE….gardening can put quite a strain on your back, arms, and legs if you don’t warm-up for the task or even stretch when you are done. Here are a few tips for you green thumbs out there to help prevent injuries!

* Consider a dynamic warm-up before you set out for a day of gardening. You can follow this warm-up featured on Spartan Race website.
http://www.spartan.com/workout-of-the-day/dynamic-warm-up/

* Avoid prolonged bending, pushing, and pulling with raking and hoeing, which can strain your shoulders or your low back

* Be sure to switch the side on which you are operating the equipment as often as possible, and to balance the muscles being used, alternate your stance and motion frequently

* Carry medium to small sized loads of debris close to your body, or try a wheelbarrow to avoid strain on your low back.

* Limit overhead work to 5-10 minutes at a time

* Try kneeling to perform tasks rather than bending at the waist

* Consider electric-powered items, especially if you are experience back or neck pain, as they tend to be lighter than regular tools.

* Now that your work in the garden is done, take at least 15 minutes to stretch out those muscles that have worked so hard. We recommend that you hold a stretch for at least a minute. The Gardening Trends website has a great post gardening stretching guide that we highly recommend you follow.
http://www.gardening-trends.com/gardening/gardeners_exercises.php

The best way to avoid low back and neck strain is to get that core strong before you even head out into the yard. At Healthy Living we can get you on the right track and start you on a core strengthening program which you can further fine tune at the gym. We also can help you with foam rolling which will aid your stretching post gardening. Make an appointment today to see what you are capable of!

Here’s To Your Health,

Katanah Grossman DC,CCSP
gardening