We are quickly approaching the gardening season, if we haven’t already. Gardening is a great way to stay active, enjoy the outdoors and improve your overall health. Have you thought about your posture while you are gardening? Unfortunately, gardening requires us to be bent over for prolonged periods of time. This can place added stress on the body, more specifically the knees and spine. When we attempt to return to an upright position, we might notice some discomfort or general stiffness. These types of activities can occasionally lead to injuries, or low back pain.
How do we reduce the risk of injury? It may be beneficial to perform a series of gentle warm up exercises. Range of motion exercises can prepare the tissues in our body for activity, reducing the odds of injury. If you find yourself bent over for prolonged periods of time, take your time returning to an upright position. Allow your body to adjust slowly. More importantly, we need to be very mindful of how long we are in a bent over position. If we take a few minutes to stretch out in-between activities, we might be able to reduce the risk of back or knee injuries. Sometimes it’s helpful to have a reminder. For example, every time you look at your watch to see what time it is, that should be your cue to change positions or take a break. Maybe, after you’ve planted three flowers, take a few seconds to change positions. Injury prevention is the key to enjoying the activities you love for years to come.
About The Author: Jeremy W. Przybylo, PT, DPT, DMT is the Prairie Spine and Pain Institute’s lead physical therapist. He is a key component of our integrated care program. Jeremy works one-on-one with patients to perform an initial evaluation that allows him to design a comprehensive treatment program tailored to each individual. He typically works with patients weekly, utilizing a combination of hands on manual therapeutic techniques and a scientific approach to rehabilitative exercise.