Dunstable: 01582 608 400 
Leighton Buzzard: 01525 372 447 
info@woodsideclinic.co.uk 
 
 
Dunstable: 01582 608 400 
Leighton Buzzard: 01525 372 447 
 

How to Avoid Gardening Injuries 

It's that time of year again, Spring is in the air, and the gardener in us is rolling up his/her sleeve and eyeing the garden to get it ready for the summer after a winter of neglect. 
 
All that digging and pulling will put a lot of stress on your bodies and after a hard gardening session, you will certainly feel the aches and pains the next day. 
 
Below are a few tips to try and minimize the risk of gardening injuries. 
1. Ask for help. The first garden tip is to know your limits. Determine which tasks you can easily do and which tasks you may need assistance with. Consider hiring someone to do the heavy work. 
 
2. Start with a warm up. Do a simple warm-up. Start by taking a five-minute walk or easy raking to get your muscles prepped for the job ahead. Some easy back and leg stretches will also help to avoid muscle strains. 
 
3. Use joint-friendly tools. Long-handled tools that allow you to stand, not stoop, and easy-to-grip hand tools are gardeners’ friends. Using a kneeling pad or even a stool you can sit on while weeding. 
 
4. Practice correct posture. Bending with your knees and not your back is still the most common recommendation people ignore. Whenever you lift something of any size, you must always keep your back as straight as possible. This will allow the muscles around the core to properly contract and protect the necessary discs and joints of your back. Let the larger muscles and stronger joints do the work when possible 
Contract your abdominal muscles before you lift the object. This is exactly as it sounds. Before you lift that wheelbarrow or bag of gravel, tighten up your abdominal muscles first and then lift. This helps to protect your back, and minimize low back injuries. 
Keep your nose between your toes. This is essentially the same thing as saying, "don't twist." 
Keep the weight as close to you as possible. If you hold anything at arm's length in front of you, it will place up to 10 times the stress on your back muscles. Therefore, when carrying the weight or lifting it, keep it very close to your stomach so as not to put undue stress on your lumbar spine muscles. 
 
5. Take frequent breaks. When you're gardening, arthritis pain can build if you don't rest your joints properly. Stop and rest. Having frequent breaks allows your body to recover and get more done before fatigue begins.