Tips on Saving Your Knees and Back While Gardening

Gardening can be an incredibly rewarding and relaxing hobby. Unfortunately, it can also be a painful one if you're not careful. It may not seem obvious at first, but the amount of time you spend bending over your plants as you care for them, or kneeling on the ground in order to plant seeds or prune plants, can lead to some serious back and knee pain. However, there are ways to avoid these pains so you can continue to enjoy your hobby and time in the garden.

Consider these tips you can use to help prevent back and knee pain while gardening:

  • Stretch first ' Think of gardening as a form of exercise. By warming up first with a few basic stretches, you can get your muscles loosened up and help avoid potential injuries.
     
  • Get a foam kneeling pad ' Prevent aches and pains from developing in your knees by simply keeping a foam kneeling pad in your garden tool bag. The cushion the pad provides is easy on the knees and allows you to kneel down and work on the ground comfortably.
     
  • Don't do everything at once ' Allow yourself to take breaks throughout the day. For example, take 15-20 minutes to relax after you complete a project before diving into the next task. When you become tired, you'll be more prone to using your body incorrectly, which can result in serious injuries.
     
  • Lift properly ' There are times when you'll need to lift heavy objects in the garden ' whether you're digging up dirt or carrying bags. Lifting these items the wrong way can be disastrous for your back, so make sure you are as close as possible to the object before you attempt to lift it. This will make your lift more steady and will help reduce the amount of stress you put on your lower back. To keep your body stable, make sure your feet are shoulder-width apart. Keep your back straight, as lifting with your back is a sure way to hurt it. Bend your knees in order to lift with your legs.