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Steps That Can Help You Avert Common Gardening Injuries

Although summer is at a close, there could still be many who are tending to their gardens.   Here in California, doing so is possible basically throughout the entire year.  But gardening also carries with it a variety of injury hazards that people must be cognizant of.  Thankfully, a new report explains how home gardeners can go about avoiding strains and other damage that can go along with the activity.

We typically tend to think of stretching only in relation to working out, but gardening can be a workout, especially if the temperature is warm.  Stretching should be carried out before every single instance of gardening.  When you garden, you place a significant amount of pressure on your back when you twist and turn, on your knees when you bend and kneel, and on your arms when you lift and reach for tools and plants.

Stretching needs to focus on each of these problem areas.  Each stretch should be held up to around 15 seconds, with attention paid to not bouncing while in the stretch.  The action should be as smooth as possible and you should repeat on both sides of your body where applicable.  When all is said and done, you ought to be able to put together a 10 to 15 minute stretching regimen that can protect against injury.

Those who have gardened for a long time know that perhaps the greatest strain is placed on your back.  Especially when you’re positioned down on the ground, the temptation is always going to be to pivot in place and reach further than what you’re used to.

You can avoid injury by actually getting away from the ground.  Consider an investment in the type of garden that is actually raised up, which eliminates the need to bend and stand up repeatedly.  If you’d rather not get a raised garden, think about purchasing garden containers that can be placed someplace like your deck, the railings of which are another area that doesn’t require extensive bending.

Even with a raised garden, some lifting may still be required.  At those times, know that the pressure should always be on your legs rather than your back.  Instead of bending, lower your entire body by bending your knees.  Once you grab the load, straighten your legs and move to wherever you’re going.  Rather than pivoting your upper body, shuffle your feet so that you’re moving your entire body when you turn.

Finally, realize that the repetition of some gardening actions can pose injury issues of its own.  Gardeners who suffer from arthritis or otherwise develop soreness in their arms and wrist should consider investing in support gloves that can limit such damage.  And when things get really bad, take a break and use ice, compression, and elevation to get an injury under control.


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