Gardening and your health – #askaphysio how to avoid pain, injury and accidents in the garden

Most people associate their gardens with a tranquil haven… a place to relax, maybe have the odd glass of wine or to socialise with friends, catching the lasts bits of decent weather. But those gardening enthusiasts amongst us will know that time spent in the garden can get very physical! At Physiofusion, we treat more gardening-related pain, injury and accidents than we do rugby and football sports injuries combined!

Our gardener patients are always surprised that something so innocuous can cause so much damage to their health. So, with winter on it’s way, we’ve put together this physiotherapy guide of the common gardening grievances and how best to avoid them – or deal with them if they got to you before we did!

Don’t spend too much time reaching over head in the garden

Overuse injuries can cause shoulder pain and other problems. We’ve been treating a professional gardener who did too much on the run-up to Chelsea Flower Show for this. Shoulder impingement (squashing of the soft tissues) can come from lots of overhead work, as can irritation of the tendons and ligaments around the joint. These can take a while to settle and return the normal range of movement – so make sure that you get a shoulder specialist physiotherapist if you need treatment.

Protect your knees in the garden

We also see a lot of knee injuries – from kneeling to weed and plant – either joint injury from lots of getting up and down, or impact injuries from the repetitive pressure on the knee-cap. You can get knee pads to help with the latter (a bit like a skateboarder!), which may not be good for your street-cred, but is better than the alternative pain.

If you’ve been active in the garden over the summer then you should be well prepared for the winter tidy up, but it might be worth roping in family members or friends as cumbersome, heavy branches or tubs are notorious for causing back and disc injury.

If you want some advice on what to do with an injury, you can use our FREE online Ask A Physio service or call us at one of our clinics.