Don’t Let Your Time in The Garden Lead to Injury
Time spent in the garden can be a relaxing around-the-house activity. With warmer weather upon us, people are returning to the garden all over the Gulf Coast. And, as soothing as gardening can be, prolonged activity in squatting, kneeling or crouching positions can lead to aches and pains. Below are a few simple tips to keep your garden green and your body injury-free.
We may not think of it as exercise, but gardening can be tough, physical work. “It’s important to warm up before any strenuous activity,“ said David Chandler, M.D., MHL, an orthopedic surgeon at Andrews Institute for Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine. “A simple 10-minute walk, along with arm, leg and neck stretches can get the blood flowing and get your body ready to work, which can definitely help with injury avoidance.”
Avoid prolonged static postures such as sitting or crouching. Do not become overly task focused, as you may find it difficult to get moving and may actually cause injury. Change your posture. Stand and walk around briefly every few minutes.
Use Good Body Mechanics When Lifting
There’s a reason we’ve heard “lift with your legs” all our lives. Many back injuries are the result of improper lifting. If you’re carrying heavy objects, or pushing something heavy like a wheelbarrow, use your legs, not your back. Also, avoid bending, lifting and twisting together as this leads to injury. Always do your lifting with your pelvis and shoulders aligned and turn with your feet rather than by twisting.
Drink Plenty of Water
While working in the Gulf Coast sun, even in the spring, individuals will experience heat and humidity, fast. Heat leads to sweating, and, if you’re not replenishing the loss of fluids in your body with water, dehydration could become a serious threat. In short, remember, it’s not just the flowers and plants in the garden that need water.
These are a few simple things to keep in mind through the spring to make sure the time you spend in your garden is relaxing and fun. If you do sustain an injury or start to feel pain, give us a call at 850.916.8700 or visit AndrewsInstitute.com to schedule an appointment. We have more than 30 physicians specializing in orthopedics and sports medicine that will help you get back to the garden as soon as possible.