We’ve reached that great time of year when the blooms are demanding our attention and the trees are sprouting their new buds. While it may be oh so tempting to get right into your garden or patio pots, don’t forget that, for many of us, we are actually starting a new activity. Here are 4 helpful tips to prevent pain and injury when whipping your garden into shape:
- Set a time limit for your first few gardening sessions: Although it may bring joy in the moment, doing 2 or 3 hours of gardening the first few times is likely to leave you tight and sore. Not fun! Try 30 – 60 minutes for the first few sessions in order to build some endurance and strength for your gardening motions.
- Have a plan and choose some different activities to tackle: We recommend that you set yourself a plan to avoid losing track of time, and more importantly, change positions and height levels when gardening. Try to use a potting bench or a countertop where possible to prevent unnecessary bending.
- Move your feet and position yourself close to the task: Remember, it’s probably been a while since you’ve done a series of forward bends, reaching out, lifting pots and soil, and other somewhat tricky motions. Think about rehearsing the movement or task without any load as a stretch to test your mobility and positioning. Move your feet with sweeping or raking and always position your body close to the task so that you avoid over-reaching or any awkward twisting.
- Know your limits and listen to your body: If you’re going to lift, size up the item and bend your knees, not your back! If the item is too heavy for you to handle, it’s better that you get help with another set of hands. We also recommend that you consider using a cart or wheelbarrow to transport supplies or move those heavier items.
Remember, your body has ways to signal pain and warnings – frequently check in with your comfort level and stick to your plan of gradually building your gardening times!
Feeling the pain? You don’t have to live with it – come see us at Jericho Physio! We take a “whole body” approach to treatment to get to the source of your problem, instead of just treating your symptoms. Our goal is to treat you today and educate you for tomorrow, so that your back pain becomes a thing of the past. To arrange an appointment, please call our office at 604-228-1474 or use our online request form.