How to Avoid Injuries While Gardening
Fall is almost here and after a long hot summer in Arizona (with decreased outdoor activity), gardening is a great way to get outdoor exercise that is low-impact and healthy. Injuries occur very often due to using the wrong tools for the job, repetitive motion, lifting, and twisting with heavy loads. You may not realize it but gardening requires strength and flexibility to prevent injuries.
It is important to choose the right tools for the job, such as tools with comfort grips keeping your hands in a neutral position. The proper tools allow for less stress on your joints which will help decrease the chance of hand and upper extremity injuries. Although injuries can occur while gardening, it is a perfectly safe activity.
Here are some ways to prevent gardening injuries:
- Warm-up and stretch before beginning your gardening
- Rest frequently and try to complete your gardening over multiple days
- Maintain good posture. Bend your knees or kneel to protect your back
- Stretch frequently
- Bend your knees while lifting
- Distribute your body weight evenly
Physical conditioning ideas for gardening include:
- Watch your back: Strengthen your core especially your abdominal muscles will help avoid back pain
- Strengthen your arms: This will help improve flexibility of your biceps, triceps, forearm muscles, rotator cuff muscles, and chest muscles.
- Warm-up properly: Take a brisk five-minute walk before you start to garden
- Avoid fatigue: do not work if you are exhausted
- Stretch frequently throughout the day: Some stretches to consider are placing your hands on your low back and leaning backwards after bending forward for extended periods of time.
Gardening is an outdoor activity so be careful of dehydration. Drink plenty of water while working out in the sun, wear a hat, and use sunscreen.
Speak with an Orthopedic Specialist Today
Are you suffering from a recent injury? Make an appointment with one of our orthopedic specialists today to start your healing journey. OrthoArizona has nearly two dozen offices throughout the Valley, each focused on quality care, compassion, and excellent customer service. Since 1994, OrthoArizona has been dedicated to compassionate care of the highest quality.
The advice and information contained in this article are for educational purposes only and are not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational, medical material.