Spring has sprung and gardening season is upon us! Our patients often ask us for tips on how they can maintain their outdoor landscaping and gardening activities while still keeping their pain levels to a minimum. Gardening and landscaping can be very hard on our bodies, so we’ve comprised a few suggestions to help you with your outdoor activities during these next few months.
One of the best tips we can offer you while you’re working outside is to listen to your body. Know your limits, and don’t be discouraged by them. If you take micro-breaks throughout the day, you’ll be able to work longer. Do not muscle through your pain! Treat yard work and gardening as though it’s a sport and prepare your body prior to doing any work. This means stretch! Gentle stretches are best. Focus on stretching your back, neck, leg, and arm muscles before you venture outdoors.
Also, if you have a brace, please use it, especially if you experience lower back and/or knee pain. Bending over is very hard on the body, and any measure you can take to avoid bending is great. We recommend hip hinging, which means to bend at your hips and knees instead of bending at your lower back. Also, if you’re able to get onto your hands and knees, that’s better than bending from the lower back. If you have access to a stool or a portable garden seat, these are great alternatives to bending and/or getting onto your hands and knees. If you are able to utilize a raised garden bed, it will be much easier on your body.
Lastly, come see us. We can help tune up your body to ensure you’re more prepared for the next season. We would be glad to provide further individualized techniques for your particular situation. Call 360.433.9580 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Tom Kessinger today!