With the weather getting warmer and our yards needing attention, it seems fitting to discuss some ways to keep our knees and back safe and pain-free while doing work outside.
Many of us enjoy gardening! Who doesn’t love a colorful, lively and weed-free garden? Unfortunately, weeding and planting can be a real pain in the knees as it often requires getting down on our hands and knees. To keep our knees from hurting try half-kneeling to decrease the amount of time spent on each knee. You could also use a soft kneeling mat or knee pads to reduce pressure through the knee joint.
To maintain proper body mechanics while raking make sure you’re staying as upright as possible, keep your tummy tight, and use short motions to move the gardening tool towards your body. Make sure to avoid overextending your reach and avoid excessive rotation.
Carrying heavy yard equipment or mulch
Transferring mulch or rocks from flower bed to flower bed is a tedious but necessary part of garden maintenance. To ensure your protecting your back and shoulders as much as possible do these four things:
- Keep the weight as close to your body as possible
- Tighten your abdominal muscles to stabilize your low back
- Widen your stance when raising or lowering the weight to or from the ground
- Pivot with your legs instead of twisting your back when turning to avoid rotational injury
Before participating in any type of yardwork, it’s always a good idea to do a short warm up. Maybe go on a short walk or do some stretches just to get loosened up. Stay injury free and enjoy the Spring weather and the yardwork that comes with it!
If aches and pains are keeping you from being active, contact us to schedule an appointment. Our physical therapists will review your medical history, test your mobility, test your range of motion and create a personalized treatment plan just for you. We’ll get you on the road to recovery in no time at all.