Spring is rapidly approaching – time to get out in the garden. Wishing you beautiful flowers and abundant produce- all without back pain or knee pain or elbow pain or any pain at all.
Over the years I have discovered certain principles of well-coordinated movement that when followed significantly reduce the likelihood of your getting hurt. One of these –initiating movement from the center of you so that the largest and strongest muscles do most of the work -is a big one. Next time you pull a weed instead of pulling by bending your elbow, keep your arm straight and shift your weight back a little. (For another example of this principle, you might want to read or re-read my blog post THE CRUNCHY BREAD CHALLENGE.
Hanging over with straight legs is likely to get you in trouble sooner or later. There are many ways to get you closer to the ground. See if you can figure out how to bend your hips, knees and ankles while keeping your heels on the ground and your back relatively flat. (Hint: your back will be more horizontal than vertical).
There are many commercially available products to help you garden well. These range from simple foam pads that make it easier to kneel on one or both knees to fancier ones with handles to help you get up and down. There are garden stools if you want to work sitting and even mini scooter-like devices with places to carry supplies. Do be sure you use appropriate tools that fit. Smaller sized ones are now readily available if you need them.
Remember to take breaks and/or vary your projects based on the type of physical demand.
So what if unfortunately something starts to feel not right? My first suggestion would be to slow down a bit and bring very conscious attention to how you are working. Second is to change how you are working just a little bit.
Still having problems? Give me a call @ 206-842-4608 or drop me an email – firstname.lastname@example.org.
I also invite you to take advantage of an offer that gives you the opportunity to inexpensively “taste” my individual work in the context of gardening.