June is the month for celebrating National Gardening Week, which offers a terrific opportunity to enjoy getting out in your garden, along with the millions of other Americans who share your hobby. Additionally, gardening is a terrific way to get some exercise as you get your yard in shape too.

Although gardening is a healthy, low impact form of physical activity, it’s important to understand the ways you can prevent unnecessary injuries. Follow these guidelines to reduce your risks:

  • Take a few minutes to stretch and warm up before beginning and at regular intervals. Remember to drink plenty of water.
  • Don’t overdo. Take frequent breaks and plan to spread your tasks over a number of days.
  • Prevent soreness and injury from repetitive movement by changing your tasks and positions frequently. Refrain from bending for extending periods by sitting on the ground or a low seat.
  • Concentrate on maintaining good posture, and using proper lifting techniques by bending the knees and your tightening core muscles to protect your back. It’s important to avoid twisting or pivoting.
  • Protect your wrist by using ergonomically designed tools and avoiding awkward bending. Consider cushioned, long handled, easy-reach tool to decrease stress on joints, while avoiding excessive kneeling or bending.

If you have soreness after gardening, apply ice to the area for 5-20 minutes, twice a day. However, if you continue to experience pain, discomfort, swelling, or weakness, it may be time to seek medical attention.

In the event that you experience pain from gardening, or would like to find out more about how we can help you reduce your risk of injury, please contact Spine & Orthopedic Center for an appointment today.