Friday, June 1, 2018

How to Avoid Joint Pain While Gardening This Summer

When you’re living with arthritis or achy joints, everyday tasks can become a challenge. Even something as simple and soothing as gardening can cause discomfort. But this doesn’t have to be your experience this summer. There are many ways to nurture your green thumb without putting your joints at risk.

If you love to spend time gardening in the summer sun but are worried about joint pain or stiffness, here are a few simple tips you can follow.

Make a plan

Having a plan in hand can make gardening a breeze! Do you foresee multiple trips up and down the garden? Grab a wheelbarrow, tug, or bucket to ease the strain on your hands, wrists, elbows, and shoulders. Heavy lifting ahead of you? Why not ask a friend or neighbor to help out, or even one of your kids or grandkids?

Decide beforehand what you need help with and what you can handle yourself, and turn your gardening into a fun social occasion where everyone lends a hand!

Have a seat

Gardening is a great way to stay active, but the repetitive motions involved can lead to swelling and joint pain. Fortunately, you don’t have to be on your feet the whole time to get the work done.

Loosen the load on your weight-bearing joints by using a garden stool instead of standing or kneeling. Sure, you might not be able to reach as far, but you’ll be closer to the ground and able to use lighter, shorter tools. You can also purchase long-reach or extendable tools.

Avoid sitting in one spot too long though, as this can cause stiffness and make rising more difficult. Get up from time to time to grab a glass of water or stretch your legs with a quick stroll in the sun.

Get a grip

Choosing the right gardening tools for each task can save you from sore hands later. You can reduce any jarring of the joints and strain on your knuckles if you use tools with a good grip. When it comes to hoes and rakes, slip a spongy rubber sleeve over the handle for a better grasp.

Consider splints

Some gardening tasks can be managed easier while wearing a splint. Weak or painful wrists can be supported with a wrist splint, while thumb splints can be helpful for tasks like pruning that require a tight grip. Consult with an occupational therapist for a more customized solution.

Vary tasks

A successful gardening session requires patience. Give your joints a rest by switching jobs every 20 minutes or so, even if you weren’t quite finished yet—you can always go back to it later. Take breaks between jobs as needed and use a timer to pace yourself. 

It joint pain is holding you back from doing the things you love, it might be time to consider alternative therapies. Stem cell therapy can restore balance in injured tissue by harnessing your body’s own natural healing process. Contact us today to learn more and see if stem cell therapy is right for you.

1 comment:

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