Gardening injuries

Isn’t it true that the more you garden the more you discover it’s not the slow, ponderous activity non-gardeners think it is.

The main problem with gardening is that you don’t realise until it’s too late just how much you’ve hurt yourself.

• Leaning over weeds for half an hour and bending over the potting table both cause a strain to the lower back and make it ache 24 hours later.

• Lifting pots that are just a little bit too heavy can inflame the spinal joints so that it is difficult to move the next day.

• If you’re really clever you can lift and twist at the same time, which can cause the sacro-iliac joints to get jammed. The sacro-iliac joints are the ones to the right and left of your bottom vertebrae. They can cause localised pain that is crippling, just like a slipped disc.

• Then there’s pruning. Give a human being a pair of shears and not only do the shrubs get pruned or hacked, but the wrists and forearms get wrecked as well. But the tightness starts the next morning, when filling the kettle, or opening the curtains.

What can you do to stop yourself from doing too much?

The trick is to vary your activities so that you don’t do too much of any one thing for a long time.

After about 20-30 minutes stop weeding and start pruning; then stop pruning and hoe; then stop hoe-ing and pot out; stop potting and dead-head things. It’s so simple.

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