As the weather warms up, many of us are taking the opportunity to get back out in our gardens to enjoy some fresh air, sunshine, and exercise! Whether you are planting new flowers or a vegetable garden, here are some tips to help you have a pain-free gardening experience this year.
How To Avoid Knee and Back Pain When Gardening
It is important to think about your body mechanics when you are kneeling, lifting, bending, and squatting while gardening. If you are kneeling, make sure the surface is comfortable for your knees to prevent compression through the kneecap. If needed, put a towel or other soft surface under the knees to cushion them.
When bending over, avoid twisting/repetitive motions and avoid staying in this position for too long. Always make sure you are using your legs to lift with good form and to hold any objects close to your body. When squatting down, ensure that you are keeping your knees apart and pushing your butt down and back while engaging your core.
If gardening is difficult due to pain with prolonged bending, try using a stool to reduce how far you have to bend down to work. Make sure you get up, move around. and change positions occasionally to prevent stress on the spine. If possible, try working from a raised surface so that you can sit or stand when tired. When lifting, ensure good form and keep your back neutral (no excessive bending or twisting).
Preventative Measures You Can Take To Avoid Pain:
If you have additional questions or would like a more personalized assessment, please call or text us at Crystal Lake Physical Therapy to schedule an evaluation. We would love to assist you! (815)893-8480.
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Emily Craigen, owner of Crystal Lake Physical Therapy, is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and a local Crystal Lake resident who is excited to bring health and wellness to her community.