As well as being a keen gardener myself since childhood, I have been treating gardening injuries for over twenty years… and I have never yet told anyone to stop gardening. But you can make life a lot easier for yourself, particularly at this time of the year when the emphasis lies on tidying up and getting things ready for the winter.
So here are our team’s top tips for pain free Autumn gardening:
· Buy light aluminium tools
· A fist and arm support can be added to handles to help lifting
· Ensure the handles of rakes and brooms are long enough for you not to have to bend at the waist and to keep your back straight when working
· Use a long handled dustpan and brush to avoid bending
· Keep the cutting edge of tools SHARP – and that includes spades, hoes and bulb planters
· Use a light aluminium rake or broom
· Do some gentle warm up stretches
· Work in short bursts
· Keep hips and shoulders moving towards the work
· Do not twist your back
· Avoid bending at the waist by stepping forward with one foot and bending slightly at the knee, allowing your upper body to stay upright in a partial lunge
· Ask yourself whether you have to rake at all?
Whereas leaf mould is a fantastic resource for any gardener, leaves also make great compost, particularly when mixed with grass clipping so why not collect leaves in the grass box of your lawn mower?
If you haven’t got a compost heap, simply leave the grass box off your mower and allow the mower to chop up the leaves. Worms will soon pull them underground and the leaves will add nutrients to your lawn … but remember mowers can be bad for your back too – so stand directly behind your mower handle with a straight back and hands resting evenly on the handles.
· To avoid hand, back and arm strain do not overload wheelbarrows
· Stack evenly with the heaviest load over the wheel
· Keep your back straight while lifting and pushing
· Rather than lift heavy objects in and out of a wheelbarrow, use a sack barrow instead.
FINALLY, if things do go wrong, remember help is only a phone call away at our friendly expert treatment centres.