Updated: Sep 11
Spring is fast approaching and with that comes gardening season! Whether you thrive in the garden, or whether it’s just another chore, don’t be one of the many people I see for an emergency treatment after a long day in the garden.
Here are my 13 top tips to avoid gardening injuries this Spring.
1. Avoid gardening in the hottest part of the day and aim to get most jobs done in the morning or late afternoon.
2. Do some gentle stretching before you start gardening to warm up your muscles and joints – It might seem like it’s just pottering in the garden, but it’s actually a huge workout for your body.
3. Be aware of any potential hazard areas, such as loose paving slabs, tools, and uneven surfaces. Try to use surfaces that provide a good underfoot grip.
4. Always kneel when planting by placing both knees on a knee pad or kneeler. If you do not own either, then simply use an old cushion or folded blanket.
5. When digging, use a small spade to avoid picking up too much and therefore reducing strain on your back.
6. When shovelling never twist your body. Instead, get up and move from spot to spot keep the shovel close to your body, your knees slightly bent, and scoop in a forward motion
7. When digging or weeding, get up and stretch every five minutes to avoid cramping
8. Wear safety equipment - such as goggles, hard hats, gloves and steel-toe-capped boots when using machinery. Tuck in loose items of clothing.
9. Avoid doing hours of repetitive movement by switching tasks
10. When using a lawnmower, face the direction in which you are cutting the grass and push forward. Always avoid swinging the lawnmower from side to side
11. If picking up or putting down items, regardless of their weight or size, always bend your knees and keep your back straight. Always face the direction in which the item is to be carried to avoid twisting the spine. You can find some tips on how to safely lift here
12. If you feel any discomfort, always stop what you are doing. Limit yourself to 30-40mins per day initially and then you can work up gradually.
13. If you are unsure about any job, call a professional.
This blog "13 tips to avoid gardening injuries" was written by Whole Health Osteopath Dr. Jess. Whole Health Osteopathy was established in 2017 and is located at 855 Plenty Road, South Morang, 3752.