Gardening season begins – Take care of your waist!

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Gardening is not only tiring, but also extremely stressful for the joints. Regardless of age, this is increasingly the case in early spring after a winter break. Anyone with cartilage wear or joint pain may feel particularly difficult for the first few days. Here are some handy tips!

Nearly 70 percent of Hungarians over the age of 35 work in the garden when they are in season.

At the beginning of spring we prepare for gardening: we clean the garden paths, take out and clean the garden tools. Then we start the work with great vigor: we dig up the beds, loosen the soil, spread out the compost, spray the fruit trees, prune the bushes and hedges. We hoe, rake, we bend a lot. Once the garden is beautifully green, we start weeding, planting the flower bulbs, sowing the seeds. In the meantime, we kneel a lot, bend over, hunch, we are a lot in one place. And the next day we can barely move from muscle cramps and strain. Spring is here: get to work!

Most common complaints after gardening:
  • low back pain
  • knee pain
  • hip pain
  • izomhúzódás
  • muscle cramp
  • overstrain
  • joint stiffness

What hurts us all?

Complaints from gardening can most often be caused by muscle twitching, muscle cramps, abdominal disc damage, and wear and tear on the small joints (the joints that connect the vertebrae in the spine). Muscle stretching is caused by a permanent static load on the muscles. The problem is most often caused by overwork, frequent incorrect lifting techniques or a bad movement.

As a result, a depressing effect on the nerve roots can develop, which can cause pain radiating to the hips, buttocks and thighs. Stretching can occur in any muscle, but when gardening, the lumbar region is mainly affected. The pain can range from mild to excruciating, often accompanied by muscle stiffness and limited movement. A common cause of low back pain during gardening is the cold effect, colds in the lumbar muscles, which should be avoided by layering clothing that protects the waist.

  • A common cause of pain is cartilage wear

Degenerative joint damage, or more simply cartilage wear, is one of the most common joint diseases and begins at a relatively young age. The reason is the hard but flexible tissue that pads the joints, the wear of the cartilage: in this case, the damaged cartilage surface is rubbed, inflammation can occur, which causes pain, stiffness and difficulty in movement. Cartilage wear, after a while, cannot be reversed, but it can be slowed down.

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  • Pain relief is not enough!

No matter how hard we put ourselves in gardening, continuous pain relief is not the answer. For the joint problem, you can get powder-building preparations in the pharmacy without a prescription, which are worth taking as a cure.

Appropriate movements
  1. Before you start gardening, move your limbs a little and stretch your muscles as if you were warming up for sports.
  2. Squat, do not bend when lifting or placing a heavier object on the ground.
  3. When lifting, we use our leg and abdominal muscles instead. Keep the object to be lifted as close to your body as possible.
  4. Don’t twist your body too much. Let’s not rotate one part of our body, but our whole body at once.
  5. Be sure to relieve the load when performing stationary work. In the case of standing work, a small stool can serve well, on which we can place our right and left legs, thus relieving the lumbar vertebrae somewhat.
  6. The right lifting technique – with a wide pad and a center of gravity placed between the legs – will help you avoid back pain.
  7. If possible, never bend with your legs extended forward. Keep your back straight to relieve the load on your lumbar vertebrae. Strong bending of the spine, such as when weeding or transplanting, results in muscle overload.
  8. When leaning forward for a long time, always keep one of your knees on the ground and, if possible, lean on one hand.

Let’s spare ourselves!

  • Divide the tasks so that you don’t overdo it. In particular, we divide work over a longer period of time, even several days or weeks, that is based on a series of movements, so that some of our members and joints are particularly burdened.
  • Let’s take into account our strengths and limitations.
  • Never walk around the garden empty-handed, take every opportunity to put something in its place.
  • Let’s relax. Don’t do a kind of work for too long without a break. Take a break or rotate your tasks.
  • Change your posture often and take a walk sometimes. If we are tired or exhausted, stop working.
  • Gardening several times a week for a short time is better than gardening once a week.
Tips for individual garden work:
  1. digging beds: Use tools with long handles to avoid bending.
  2. hoeing, loosening: Choose tools with long handles and good grip, use them without bending forward!
  3. weeding: Avoid prolonged, crooked postures.
  4. planting flower bulbs and seedlings: Change your posture often and use a pillow under your knees.
  5. cuttings: Sit on a low chair during prolonged work.
  6. pruning trees, bushes, hedges: Choose a tool with a joint-saving handle or wear a wrist guard!
  7. spraying: Divide into smaller parts!
  8. gereblyézés: We do it in an attack position with weight transfer and a straight back!
  9. irrigation: Instead, turn several times and use a smaller watering can.
  10. wheelbarrow: Raise the wheelbarrow with your back straight and your knees bent.
  11. mowing the lawn: We can overload the shoulder joints, the vibration can be stressful for the small joints, the lawn tractor can cause back problems. When emptying the mower deck, the danger is to bend and turn the spine.

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Source: Patika Magazin Online by www.patikamagazin.hu.

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