Warm weather means you can finally get back out to your garden. Whether you enjoy tending to rose bushes or are more of a vegetable and fruit gardener, gardening is a great pass-time. Not only does it keep you active, but gardening can also be a great stress reducer—and we all know that a reduction in stress is great for overall health.
Although there are many benefits to gardening, it can also have some setbacks, especially when it comes to your joints. Spine surgeon Dr. Raj Rao explained in an American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) news release, “While gardening helps to relieve mental stress, many people underestimate the physical stress your body can endure during this activity. The constant bending, reaching and squatting involved could result in injuries to the lower back and knees, therefore it’s important to be mindful of your body’s position while gardening to avoid aches and strains.”
If you love gardening but don’t want to suffer from joint pain, then you will want to follow these tips provided by the AAOS.
Gardening tips to prevent joint pain
- Perform stretches prior to gardening in order to loosen joints and muscles
- Avoid staying in one position for extended periods of time and take breaks when necessary
- Ensure you are lifting heavy objects properly and not adding additional strain to your back—don’t force lifting something if it’s too heavy, ask for help!
- Use stools and ladders if needed in order to make tasks easier to perform
- Stay hydrated
- Wear gloves, sturdy shoes, and long pants or sleeves in order to protect yourself from insect bites
- Ensure you are using gardening equipment that is in good condition—faulty tools can lead to injury
By keeping these tips in mind, not only will you reduce the risk of joint pain, but you can also protect yourself from injury and other health problems associated with gardening.