The top four common gardening and lawn care injuries we see are:
• Low back pain
• Shoulder pain and impingement
• Bursitis of the knee
• Neck pain
These common injuries are often caused by over-use. We tend to find ourselves wanting to get the job done in a short amount of time. Therefore, the time crunch is hard on our muscles and joints that are not used to the high activity level. This can set off an inflammatory response, which causes tissue irritation and damage. We forget that gardening and lawn care is indeed a workout for our bodies and minds.
Helpful hints to decrease injuries:
• Warm up with a short walk or stretches.
• Squat or kneel with a pad, cart or gardening stool for lower jobs - rather than bending at the waist.
• Shovel small amounts while keeping the shovel close to your body to decrease pressure on back.
• Step into your motions while using a rake or hoe instead of bending forward.
• Keep your arms close to your sides and walk with or close to the lawn mower or rototiller.
• Plan frequent breaks and stretch your back, arms and legs.
• Plan frequent position changes to minimize stress and soreness.
• Spread out your work over a longer time frame of a week or weekend, as opposed to one day.
With these tips in mind, go forth and create the lawn and garden of your dreams! If you experience any injuries this spring, be sure to visit your doctor or health care professional. If Physical Therapy is needed, contact Concordia Outpatient Physical Therapy. We are able to treat all your therapy needs that may result this spring and summer with a script from your family doctor. We can help you keep your body healthy so you can enjoy life!
Now good luck with your gardening adventures!