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Top 10 Yard Work and Gardening Tips to Keep You Free of Injury

It is that time of year when people come to us for aches and pains resulting from yard work and gardening. If you follow these tips, it will help you avoid the painful affects of taking care of your lawn and garden.

  1. Know your strength and limitations. Divide the work that needs to be done over two or three days instead of trying to get everything done in one day.
  2. Mix it up by varying your activity. For example, if you need to rake, dig, kneel on the ground, and carry flower pots, bags of dirt, mulch, etc., do one activity for a short period of time then change to another activity. Rotating your work will help you avoid strain and overuse.
  3. Switch hands when raking, hoeing and digging. You will prefer one side depending on your handedness. Try to switch to the other side periodically to minimize muscle fatigue, joint stress and pain. Recognize that if you have a “bad back,” these three activities are right up there with the worst things to do.
  4. Squat to lift heavy objects. Bending at the waist and lifting with your back will increase your risk for a back injury. Take a wide stance, stick out your buttocks and keep your back straight as you squat down. Use your glutes and thighs to lift, not your back.
  5. Avoid working too long in one position, especially sitting on the ground or bending forward. Mix it up like we mentioned in tip number two.
  6. If you are planting flowers in pots, use a table to avoid bending and leaning.
  7. If you are planting flowers in the ground, kneel on a folded up towel or foam pad to cushion your knees.
  8. Carry heavy objects close to your body. This will reduce the risk of straining your neck and back.
  9. Take frequent breaks.
  10. If pain or injury occurs after the work is done, apply ice to the injured area for 20 minutes, every two hours. If soreness or pain does not go away within a few days, give us a call. You may be in need of a chiropractic adjustment.