When you want to go outside but current situations have limited your favorite leisure activities, what’s left to do? As the pandemic continues, more people have used their time at home to beautify their property and plant flowers and vegetables. Gardening is a meditative pastime, one you can enjoy even if chronic joint pain presents challenges.
Gardening requires planning, movement, and concentration to – figuratively and literally – bear fruit. You’ll have the opportunity to keep your joints lubricated and flexible, and you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment as your plants bloom. Bear these safety precautions in mind before you start digging in the dirt.
Warm up before you work. You wouldn’t break into a miles-long jog without first stretching your limbs. The same should go for any gardening activity. Your joints may get a workout, so it’s important to warm up with stretching to prevent muscle pulls and stiffness.
Find the right tools. Do you experience pain in your hands and wrists? Look for spades and soil aerators with ergonomic handles. If it’s easier on your knees and joints to stand while you work, use long range tools that allow you to dig and till without kneeling.
Garden in comfort. Loose, comfortable clothing allows you to move easily, and sunscreen protects your skin even on overcast days. Wear gloves to minimize the dirt under your nails and to guard your finger joints, and use a foam pad when you kneel to work on in-ground plants.
Don’t forget your posture. Avoid overextension of your arms, back and neck while you work. Bend with your knees, not your back, as you lift pots and tools, and use wheeled equipment for transporting heavy bags of soil. Pro Care offers a number of recommendations for healthy gardening positions, to help prevent injury.
When joint pain becomes too much to bear daily activities, the physicians and therapists at Bon Secours Virginia Orthopaedic & Spine Specialists can help improve your quality of life. Contact us today for more information on our joint replacement and other procedures.