gardening safety

Get back to your garden with safe techniques to avoid knee and back pain

by Sports Therapy And Rehabilitation, April 26, 2017

If you’re a gardener, the past few months away from your garden have probably been tough. But spring is finally here, and that means you can bring life back to your yard, one plant at a time.

Gardening is a great hobby that also doubles as exercise, but it can also lead to pain. All the stretching, bending and twisting that comes with being a productive gardener puts multiple areas of the body at risk for pain, especially the knees and back.

The knees are a prime target for aches and pains due to extensive bending and kneeling. The back is also vulnerable when lifting and other activities are performed incorrectly. In addition, gardening requires many of the same motions to be repeated over long periods of time, which can be particularly stressful to several muscle groups.

To avoid back and knee pain while gardening this year, we recommend the following:

  • Use a foam or gel kneel pad and try alternate kneeling on each knee
  • Vary your gardening tasks throughout each session so you don’t keep repeating the same task for too long; you can also break it up into smaller tasks
  • Try to only use pruners, shovels rakes and other gardening tools that are ergonomically designed with cushioned grips
  • When you sit for jobs at ground level, don’t sit cross-legged; flex your body forward and maintain good posture, or use a small chair or stool
  • Stretch both before and after gardening, when muscles are in the cool-down phase, and ice any sore areas before going to bed

For all the gardeners out there who want to keep themselves pain-free this spring, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation in Washington, DC can help with additional guidance or a basic stretching program to keep you flexible. Contact us at 202-223-1737 or e-mail and schedule an appointment today. For more information on how to avoid gardening injuries, click here.

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