Posted on March 28, 2016
Advantage Physical Therapy supports the following tips/recommendations presented & identified by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) to minimize the risk of injury:
- Warm up before you begin. Get your heart rate up by taking a 10-minute walk followed by some stretches for your upper and lower back, neck, arms and legs. Roll your shoulders back in a circular motion and slowly move your head from side to side a few times to loosen up.
- Don’t overdo it. Be mindful of how your body feels. If you experience an aching back or neck, then slow down and stretch or stop and switch to a different task.
- Use a garden cart or wheelbarrow to move tools and heavy planting materials.
- Don’t kneel on both knees. Keep one foot on the ground to give your back more stability. If you have to kneel, use knee pads or a pillow to absorb some of the pressure.
- Change positions and take frequent breaks to avoid stiffness or cramping.
- Start with smaller projects and build gradually. Don’t try to do it all at once.
- Practice proper body mechanics. Bend at your knees when you grab something or pull a weed, bend your knees and contract your abdominal muscles to avoid straining your back.
- End your gardening session with a short walk or some light stretching. Take a warm bath or shower to help prevent next-day soreness.
- If you experience pain, contact your physical therapist.