4 Tips to Help Avoid Chronic Pain this Spring

With the warm weather of spring and summer, comes the never-ending yard work and gardening tasks to keep our yards looking beautiful. I love getting my flower beds all planted and set up. Then I can enjoy gorgeous blooms to enjoy all summer long.

Unfortunately, all of this gardening and yard work can cause back, knee, or shoulder pain, etc. But it doesn’t have to!

Here are some tips to avoid injuries or chronic pain exacerbations.

 

1.Don’t try to do it all at once

 

I know it can be hard to stop once you get going on a project, but it is important to break up tasks. Take frequent breaks, and spread the work out over multiple days to avoid excessive strain and irritation.

 

2. Stand up and stretch

 

Being hunched over, on your knees, or squatting for long periods tending to your garden can irritate your back and knees. Try standing up every 5-10 minutes, bend backwards a few times to stretch your back, or just walk around for a minute or two. This can help combat the strain of these positions.

 

Try to avoid bending forward for long periods altogether if possible. Additionally, try to avoid twisting movements. Instead, turn your entire body instead of just your torso. Remember, your nose should be pointing the same direction as your toes.

 

 

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 3. Be careful with lifting

Lifting bags of soil or mulch can be awkward, and it is easy to injure your back or shoulders. Use a wheelbarrow when you can to transport mulch and dirt.
When lifting, keep objects as close to your body as possible, and use your legs to squat down instead of bending at the waist. Avoid twisting to pick up or put down objects. Turn your entire body to avoid back strain.

4. Drink water

It is very important to stay hydrated when working in the hot sun for long periods. Keep a cold thermos of water handy to remind you to drink when you take breaks.
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Be conscious of your movements and positions, and with a little patience, you will soon have a beautiful garden or yard to enjoy all summer long -without suffering in pain!
-Katie K, PTA
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