Preventing Back Injuries And Muscle Strains While Working In Your Garden
It's that time of year again... people growing gardens of fruits and vegetables galore. There's nothing quite like the satisfaction one can get from enjoying the fantastic taste of fresh produce. All of the hard work that goes into growing them is all worth it.
While gardening may not seem like a strenuous activity, it's important to take certain precautions to prevent back problems and muscle strains. Here are a few tips of advice for gardeners as you delight in your garden.
- Make sure you do stretching before you start gardening. Your back, shoulders, upper legs, and wrists. These are some of the major muscle groups affected by this activity.
- Before stretching, breathe in and out, slowly and rhythmically, being careful not to bounce or jerk your body.
- Stretch as far and as comfortably as you can.
- While sitting, prop your heel on a stool or a step, keeping your knees straight.
- Lean forward until you feel a stretch in the back of your thigh or hamstring muscle.
- Hold this position for 15 seconds.
- Do this once more and repeat with the other leg.
- It's best to remain in a comfortable position to prevent further injuries or strains.
- In order to avoid strain, stay away from repetitive bending and lifting from the waist.
- If you do bend over at the waist, make sure that you are putting a slight bend in your knees.
- Be sure to take frequent breaks.
- Stay hydrated.
- Kneel on a padded mat for knee comfort.
- Use tools that will keep your wrist in a neutral position and will create greater leverage for you.
As a caution, remember that injuries are most often a cumulative effect of improper mechanics over time. Overexertion can also be a culprit, so make sure not to overdo it. The garden will still be there tomorrow.
If you do overdo it, and are experiencing discomfort, apply heat or cooling packs for the next 48 hours.
To those who do gardening, stay safe, and enjoy the fruits of your labor!