Details for Ask the Professional 5/12

ask a Professional Sarah Pettyjohn, PT, DPT Q: Spring has finally arrived, and I can’t wait to get busy in my garden! What can I do to keep my body feeling good as I start getting ready for planting? A: Gardening seems like a gentle activity but it really does take a toll on the body! A 10-minute brisk walk and stretches for the spine and limbs are good ways to start and end your time in the garden. Be aware of how your body feels as you work in your garden. If a part of your body starts to ache, take a break, stretch that body part in the opposite direction it was in, or switch to a different gardening activity. For example, if you’ve been leaning forward for more than a few minutes, and your back starts to ache, slowly stand up, and gently lean backwards a few times. Use a garden cart or wheelbarrow to move heavy planting materials or tools. Use knee pads or a gardening pad. If kneeling or leaning down to the ground causes pain in your back or knees, consider using elevated planters to do your gardening. If kneeling on both knees causes discomfort in your back, try kneeling on one and keep the other foot on the ground. Use good body mechanics when you pick something up or pull on something, such as a weed. Bend your knees, tighten your abdominals, and keep your back straight as you lift or pull things. Avoid twisting your spine or knees when moving things to the side; instead, move your feet or pivot on your toes to turn your full body as one unit. Sundog Rehabilitation, llC Serving Rapid Valley and Custer locations! 605-787-2719 www.sundogrehab.com - Most Insurance Accepted

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