A Senior Physiotherapist's guide to avoiding common gardening injuries.
Senior Physiotherapist Emma Pollard from Nuffield Health Leeds Hospital shares her tips on keeping fit and well whilst enjoying attending to the garden.
It’s the time year where the sun begins to shine and we venture out to tend to our gardens. After a long cold winter, where some of us may have been less active, this brings with it the risk of triggering common gardening aches and pains.
Such activities can cause excessive stress and strain on muscles and joints such as the lower back, knees, shoulders and elbows.
Four tips to avoid common garden injuries:
1. Warm up
As with any exercise, preparing the body for the task ahead is important. Consider a brisk walk and some gentle mobilisations of the body such as shoulder rolls, pelvic tilts and rotations and some small knee bends.
2. Using the right equipment
The use of gardening aids such as the use of kneeling pads, small stools, long handled tools or even a wheelbarrow to move heavy items around can all help reduce the load on the body.
3. Watch your posture & body mechanics
The body is made to move. Often prolonged or repetitive movements can put joints under unnecessary loads and stress. Be sure to take breaks between tasks that involve the same actions. Being aware of how you bend/lift e.g. use your knees, keep a good posture and keep any load close to the body.
Although gardening is a great form of exercise it is important to pace yourself at first to avoid any overload on our muscles and joints. Perhaps setting a timer to ensure that you take that break. As the saying goes Rome wasn’t built in a day!
When to call a physiotherapist:
T: 0113 388 2064
Find out more about the Physiotherapy at Nuffield Health Leeds Hospital