Combat Lower Back and Joint Pain with Pain-Free Gardening Tips

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With April's National Garden Month underway, your planting plans may be ready, but your body is likely unprepared for the bending, kneeling, and lifting that go along with it.

"As an avid gardener with two knee replacements, I'm always in search of alternative tactics to combat joint pain," said Melinda Myers, a professional horticulturist with an eye for innovative solutions. "Electrotherapy treatment lets me garden without needing to stop due to the joint pain that often comes with kneeling, reaching, and lifting."

Smart Gardening
Myers doesn't rely solely on electrotherapy to keep her gardening pain free. To reduce lower back and joint pain, she suggests following these simple pain-free gardening tips:

Vertical Gardening – Garden up! Grow plants on a blank wall, fence, or post. Height makes gardening easier and creates visual interest.

Choose Your Tools Wisely – Look for ergonomic grips, long-handled tools, and ratcheted tools to keep your posture upright, give you more power and make the grip easier.

Leverage Heavy Loads – Split up large loads into smaller increments. Use everyday items like a wagon or winter sled to help you move supplies around the garden with ease. 

Take Breaks – Work five minute breaks in your gardening schedule to lower your likelihood of injury. Try easy back stretches from the waist and do not garden for longer than 20-30 minutes straight. Stay attentive to weather temperatures and flexibility as well – do additional stretches or warm-ups if you feel stiff or cold. 

Keep Tools Sharp Get your local store to file trowels, shears, and even shovels. Dulled tools mean more strain – make sure your tools are well-kept to cut down on unnecessary added effort.

After Gardening
If you follow all of these tips and still wind up with back pain or you already have joint or low back pain we recommend a few tips to alleviate acute pain: 

-Heat and/or ice treatments

-Exercise, stretching techniques

-Over-the-counter therapies. Begin managing pain in about 15 minutes.

-Always consult your healthcare provider (physical therapist, chiropractor, or physician) about your pain and therapy, especially if after four weeks your acute pain has not lessened.

For additional tips on gardening and managing lower back and joint pain, visit omronpainrelief.com.