Therapy group offers tips on easing pain from gardening

Spring is once again upon us. As the rhyme goes April shower brings May flowers, or April rain brings more May rain this year. Once it starts to dry up many of us will be out and about planting, tilling, hauling mulch, and anything else we can fit in before the sun goes down. Many of us will also be feeling the after effects of such activities. Yard work, however, does not need to sideline you with a bag of frozen peas and the remote. Here are some helpful tips to keep you healthy and pain free this spring and summer:

• Tips for Prevention

o Stretch: a good hamstring stretch can prevent a multitude of injuries, but don’t forget your shoulders, back, and calf muscles.

o Warm-up: don’t just start out your projects with a good heave-ho loosen up first. Even just a walk around the block will help keep you from ending your work day in the first 5 minutes.

o Bend at your knees: Use your legs when lifting! You have two legs and one back, protect your back by using your legs.

o Move your feet: don’t twist, over reach, or get yourself in a compromising position trying to save a few steps it will only come back to haunt you later.

• Tips for after Yard Work

o Ice, Ice, ICE!: if your knee, back, shoulder, or ankle is sore and/or swollen after your yard work use a cold pack for 10-15 minutes, up to 3x/day. HINT: Frozen peas are a wonder alternative to buying an ice pack.

o Stretch: If it is sore, stretch it until you feel a nice light stretch. Going beyond a nice light stretch might do more harm than good. Hold your stretch for 20-30seconds.

• When to seek Medical Attention:

o Symptoms don’t go away within 3-5 days

o Pain is rated 9-10/10 (0 being no pain; 10 being the worst pain of your life)

o You are unable to move your joints

o Electric pain going up/down your arm or leg

--Sarah White-Hamilton, DPT TherapyWorks 1311 Wakarusa Drive 785-749-1300

Tagged: physical therapy, gardening, yard work

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