How to avoid injury in your garden or yard

pt HealthPhysiotherapy

With the nicer weather, you may have the urge to get your yard or garden in order. The bending and reaching involved in yard and garden work may get your body moving in ways you haven’t moved in a while and pain, discomfort and even injury are common.

Back pain is a one of the most common culprits at this time of year and over 85% of the population will be affected by it at some point in their lives.

Before you get your hands in the dirt, prevent low back pain injury with some of these simple tips

  • Carry several small loads of dirt/debris, instead of struggling with one large load
  • When lifting, keep loads close to your body and use a wide base of support
  • Teamwork also makes loads lighter and the work fun
  • Use a step stool to sit on when doing low level work to limit low back strain

Select the right tools

  • Purchase a watering can with a long spout to allow access to your plants without having to hold heavy loads away from your body
  • Consider using knee pads or portable cushions to protect your joints when kneeling
  • Stretch before and after gardening
  • Make sure to take frequent breaks and alternate activities to ease muscle strain

Prevent sunburn and heatstroke

  • Sunburn can start within 15-30 minutes of direct exposure
  • Garden early in the morning or late in the day
  • Remember to use sunscreen and drink plenty of fluids
  • Wear a hat to reduce dehydration and burns to the top of the head

If you would like further information on a general stretching program, or if you experience persistent pain after gardening or other activities, our clinicians are here to help. Find a clinic near you and book an appointment today.

This blog post originally appeared on and was written by Krista McIntyre, National Director of Program Development, Specialty Services.

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