As osteopaths, we see lots of injuries from working in the garden. Here are our top tips to save yourself a visit to the clinic!
- Warm up
Now that the weather is cooler, your muscles may be tighter. Warm them up before starting any heavy work.
- Rotate your tasks
By restricting the amount of time you spend doing the same task, you allow your body time to recover, so, instead of spending 2 hours digging, spend 20 minutes digging, then 20 minutes weeding, then 20 minutes planting, then 20 minutes watering then 20 minutes pruning. This way, you are changing your body position regularly and switching between heavy duty and lighter duty tasks.
- Engage your core
When standing, digging or crouching, pull in your tummy muscles but also clench your bottom muscles (gluteals). This will stabilise the pelvis and give you a stronger posture for heavy work resulting in efficiency of action.
- Avoid twisting
For example, when shovelling compost from the bin to the wheelbarrow, move your feet to face the task rather than twisting your body.
- Protect your knees
When kneeling or crouching in a tripod position, keep your bent knee behind the toes of the bent foot. This way, when you stand up, your weight will be in your pelvis rather than in your knee.
Best wishes for completing those autumn jobs in the garden safely. If you do strain a muscle, give us a call. We can help alleviate the pain, increase mobility and speed up recovery. Look for us under Osteopathy in the treatment list.
Jo Barber and Bea Jung