Avoiding a horticultural injury….
Not all heroes wear capes and not all athletes wear trainers, some wear wellies and gloves! People don’t think of gardening as being an activity that takes a lot of effort, maybe imagining a more sedate pastime of clipping plants or edging the grass, but you try moving a load of soil, spend a day pulling out reluctant weeds, or dig up a flower bed and you will soon feel bits of your body protest! That is especially true at this time of year as people who maybe haven’t been doing so much activity over the winter start to combat the encroaching garden. The temptation is to get on in
there and spend a whole weekend really sorting out all the heavy jobs that have been bugging you over the winter, but this may not be the best idea.
At this time of year one of the most common sentences we hear is ‘I was digging in the garden all weekend and I’ve put my back out, help!’ If you think we’re joking then listen to Oliver Pritchett, ‘The most pleasing sound of springtime, to be heard all over the country is the contented cooing of osteopaths as Man picks up his garden spade’.
So how do you avoid getting a gripey gardening back? Well we have some top tips below to help you through that first weekend, and you can even download our warm up guide to help you avoid a few painful days or weeks;
1 – Start slow
Maybe do some light work, such as pruning plants that don’t require you to bend down too much.
2 – Split the day up
Don’t dig all day, don’t rip up weeds all day, both these activities require a lot of power over the course of a day. Maybe do an hour’s digging then do something else more relaxing (wine?), then return to the heavier task the next day.
3 – Have the right tools
Make sure they are suited to the job, if they can be long handled even better. Make sure if they need to be sharp or if they need to move freely that they do so, this will save you a lot of energy and effort (you can find some advice for that here).
4 – Stop if you feel pain or increasing stiffness!
When you are warmed up and moving well and you feel a slight tweak it may be a bit more than that by the end of the day, and especially the next day!
A bit of stiffness or muscle fatigue is normal after starting or resuming a physical task assuming the pain isn’t too severe then if you wait a few days the problem should resolve itself. If, however the pain is sharp, ‘locking’, or severely limits movement or the ability to sleep then maybe you should give us a call to see how we can help. We successfully treat these types of injuries every year….by following the steps above you can avoid being one of them!
Do you want to know what is causing your pain and if we can help? Why not take advantage of our new patient assessment introductory offer to get you started towards a tailor made recovery plan for only £19.
Are you in a lot of pain and want to get better as soon as possible? If so then why not book in for a new patient consultation, with treatment on the day, for £60.