Don’t let your work in the garden give you painful problems

garden croppedSummer is here and many of us like to get out in the garden and complete some of those DIY projects that have been waiting all winter. Having a lovely garden is nice, but make sure you can enjoy it once the work is done. Here are a few tips to consider when heading out to do your DIY garden tasks:

  • Dress appropriately. Make sure you wear something that is loose and unrestrictive. You will be moving, lifting and stretching in ways that might not be usual so you don’t want to be restricted by tight clothes.
  • Warm up! It might seem like a DIY job to you, but to your body working in the garden is another form of exercise. It is good to do some basic stretching and start with lighter jobs before heading into the heavier tasks such as lifting.
  • Plan ahead. Trips to the DIY stores can be fun because you stock up on everything you need to transform your garden but they can also be a hazard. It is appealing to buy big bags of cement, gravel or compost while you are there but can actually cause problems when you try to lift them. If possible, opt for the smaller bags so you can lift and carry them appropriately. It is also a good idea to unload the bags into smaller containers once you get home so you don’t hurt yourself getting the bags from the car to your garden.
  • Use your ladder properly. Many garden projects require ladders and there is more to worry about than falling off it. You can easily twist the wrong way causing strains. When you use your ladder, make sure that you are always facing the same direction as the steps and don’t stretch away from the ladder. It is much better for you to move the ladder or steps regularly to keep up with your progress. We also suggest having a helper around to make sure the ladder stays firmly and safely planted in position.
  • Clever trimming & pruning. For those who need to trim or prune your plants, avoid over-stretching by staying close to your plants and the area you are dealing with. If you have tall plants, it is worth investing in a pair of long-handled secateurs.
  • Be smart when you pave. If you are laying a patio, you will be dealing with stone slabs that can be heavy or awkward. Remember the rules of lift and do it with your knees and not your back. Keep the slabs close to your body to avoid awkward positions. If you are opting for a wooden patio with railway sleepers, it is best to have two people carrying the timber to avoid strains.
  • Don’t forget to take breaks! Like any other exercise activity, you should vary your activity levels and motions by spending no more than 20-30 minutes on any one thing. And of course, you should take regular breaks and stay hydrated with water.

If you have had a problem or injury from your garden DIY, contact us today to discuss what treatment options might be best for you.