Spring is finally here, and social distancing recommendations along with Governor Ned Lamont’s Stay Safe at Home executive order has made many people extra excited for the warm weather this year. Gardening is great whether you’ve always had a green thumb or you’re looking to find exciting new hobbies at home.
If you want to garden, but suffer from joint pain, it can stop you from doing what you love. Gardening can feel debilitating for those with arthritis, knee replacements, previous ankle injuries or back pain. It also can be frustrating if you’re not as limber as you used to be. When planting one tomato plant might make you feel like you’ve planted an acre, what can you do?
1. Plant a Container Garden
By keeping your plants in containers limits bending that can bother back injuries, knee injuries and a number of other pain problems. Container gardens can also be planted in locations where you could use a chair for easier reach.
2. Planting Raised Flower Beds
Raised flower beds literally bring the soil closer to you for easier access. If building a new bed, make it narrow enough so you can reach into the middle of it. Also, allow enough space between beds so you can walk easily between them.
Fun Fact: Raised beds also improve drainage.
3. Gardening With Ergonomic Tools
There are MANY items on the market now that can help make your gardening life much easier and less painful. Ergonomic tools are great for people with arthritis because of their easy grip support.
4. Watering Aids
Consider the grip of a watering can when buying a new one – does your wrist have to bend down towards the pinky side of your wrist? Look for a watering can that allows you to keep your wrist in a neutral position. If buying a new nozzle for a hose, look for an easy to grip nozzle.
Fun Fact: One gallon of water weighs about 8 pounds, so weigh your options [pun intended!] of carrying a watering can versus dragging a hose.
5. Kneeler or Seat
A kneeler is a nice tool that gives you padding for your knees and arm rests to push off when trying to stand up after weeding. Some kneelers also have a bench to sit on when you get tired, all in one package.
If you have any further questions about how you can garden without causing pain to your body, contact ECRC for a consultation.
Fun Fact: Physician referral is not required for a physical therapy consultation!