Victoria Physio News
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Victoria Physiotherapy Tips – Getting The Most Out Of Gardening

POSTED: July 18, 2011

Summer is upon us and so are those weeds. In this post we will share some tips from the Physiotherapy Association of BC on best practices while in the garden. These tips are recommended to provide you with all of the joy and health benefits of gardening without the aches and strains associated from over doing it.

To be injury free season, Physiotherapists recommend:

1. Begin with a warm up – Start with easy raking, or go for a five-minute walk to warm up your muscles. Follow this with stretching all major muscle groups to help prevent injury. Give your back, neck, hands and fingers some extra time when stretching.

2. Be aware of your posture and body mechanics – Move your feet instead of twisting at your waist when sweeping, raking, mulching or potting. If you can’t avoid twisting, tighten your stomach muscles in order to protect your back.

Use your legs rather than your back when lifting or unloading heavy bags or pots. Bend your knees, keep your back straight, and hold the object close to your body to prevent unnecessary strain on your back.

3. Use ergonomically correct tools – Buy tools with long handles to help with weeding. Build or buy a potting bench that is high enough to prevent unnecessary bending. Sit on the ground to trowel without bending over. When kneeling use a knee pad to avoid putting too much pressure on your knees.

4. Pace Yourself – Don’t try to do everything all at once. Take breaks throughout your work and do some gentle stretching to keep limber. Vary tasks to make sure different muscles get used and one particular muscle group is not overworked. Repeated actions that use a specific muscle or muscle group can cause pain or injury.

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