How to Prevent Orthopedic Injuries While Gardening
Keeping a Green Thumb and a Healthy Body!
At Central Orthopedic Group of Long Island, we recognize that patients can have injuries from going throughout their daily routine. While gardening may be therapeutic, it is also strenuous for several major parts of the body, and may cause major muscle or joint pain. Here are some of the most common injuries caused by gardening.
Gardening & Back Pain
Digging, raking leaves, removing weeds and planting flowers may be a good workout, but the repetitive motion of arching your back may lead to pain after you have finished for the day. Working longer than your body can handle can cause you to injure your muscles, tendons and ligaments. Our orthopedists have preventative exercise recommendations for those prone to back pain, and some simple exercises for those looking to alleviate back pain. Check out our Back Care Boot Camp for more advice on back pain management.
Gardening & Knee Injuries
It’s impossible to garden without being on your knees, but kneeling for extended periods of time can cause your cartilage to wear away. This will inevitably lead to knee pain. Prepatellar bursitis, or a burst knee, is a common knee injury caused by the inflammation of a small sac of fluid in the knee. This can be developed over long periods of kneeling. Actions like this can also cause osteoarthritis, a similar injury which may result from either a previous injury or repeated strain on the knee. Our orthopedists recommend all gardeners use knee pads to prevent these conditions — and stay comfortable. If you are experiencing osteoarthritis, we may have a solution for you.
Gardening & Torn Shoulders
Neatly trimmed hedges can be a welcoming, homey image for passerby, but the work associated with it can be a burden on the body. Reaching above your head to trim hedges or trees can cause rotator cuff tears, osteoarthritis in the shoulder, or impingement syndrome. Impingement syndrome occurs when the rotator cuff rubs against the roof of the shoulder, causing pain when reaching your arms to your front or side.
Gardening & Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Common actions while gardening can cause carpal tunnel syndrome. These include grasping and planting flowers, squeezing the hose while watering and other similar tasks may contribute to carpal tunnel syndrome, especially if there is a pre-existing condition. Our orthopedists have some preventative tips to help you avoid symptoms.
While these tips will be helpful for all gardeners, each individual will respond to this added stress differently. Your health history, sports involvement, and daily routine all inform how your body will respond to this activity. Our qualified team of physical therapists and orthopedic surgeons is trained to assess the source of your joint or bone pain, and help you through the treatment process. Contact us to set up an appointment if you are experiencing any of the above symptoms.