Throwing yourself into the hobby, without a warm up, can be as dangerous as a footballer returning to competition without training. At this time of year the number of people attending osteopathy clinics with gardening related ailments is often higher than those for sports such as football or rugby!
In our clinic we see a surge in gardening-related injuries, strains and sprains during the spring months. The most common are lower back pain, and strains to ligaments and joints. Here’s some suggestions for how to avoid injury:
– Gentle stretching before you start gardening will warm up your muscles and joints
– Kneel down when planting by placing both knees on a knee pad, kneeler, or an old cushion or blanket
– If you are digging, use a small spade so you don’t put strain on the back by trying to pick up too much
– Change tasks regularly rather than hours of repetitive movement such as digging
– When lifting anything, be it a small plant or a heavy bag of rubbish, remember to bend your knees and keep your back straight
– When picking up and putting down, face the direction the load is to be carried to avoid twisting your spine