Gardening Tips

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.

Resource:
APTA

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